A farmer in Figtree, Matabeleland South, is counting her losses after thieves broke into her property and stole 217 ready-for-slaughter broilers worth over US$1 500, police have confirmed.

Matabeleland South Provincial Police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident that took place in one of the farms in Figtree last week.

The affected farmer, Sinqobile Tesa, told CITE that thieves broke into her premises and moved the neighbors’ livestock into her yard as a distraction.

“The event occurred just after midnight on Thursday when the thieves entered my premises. To create a distraction, they drove our neighbors’ cattle into the yard. The workers heard the dogs barking but didn’t think much of it because cattle typically wander into our yard following the smell of chicken manure,” Tesa said.

“Cattle occasionally enter our yard through an entrance. So the workers assumed that was the cattle’s typical routine on that fateful day.”

Tesa said the workers only discovered that thieves had stolen 217 broilers which were ready for slaughtering in the morning.

“We sell one chicken for US$7 and for a month, the total value of our chickens that were stolen is US$1 519. We reported the matter to the police but no arrests have been made as yet,” said the poultry farmer.

The farmer added she kept a total of 2 000 chicken layers and 1 500 broilers which were in different batches but the thieves targeted those chickens that were supposed to be slaughtered for sales.

“We suspect these people used a car to carry the chickens because there were tyre marks by the fowl run. They cut the fence that surrounds the yard and they also cut the mash-wire fence for the chicken houses, gaining access to the chickens,” narrated the disgruntled farmer.