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Authorities in Fairfax County are investigating what may have killed 32 chickens on a small farm and looking for another 46 missing chickens.
A neighbor who saw the dead chickens called animal control officers to the farm in the Winfield Road area Thursday morning, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.
One of two chicken coops had been broken into, Caldwell said. The chickens were housed by an electric fence, a portion of which had been trampled, according to police.
Animal control officers are investigating the possibility that dogs attacked and killed the chickens, the Associated Press reported. Apparent small dog footprints were found at the scene, according to animal control.
Four surviving chickens that were found were being checked out by a vet.
The chickens -- so-called “broilers” -- are medium-sized and reddish in color. They were being raised to be sold and eaten.
Anyone who sees a chicken in the area or has information about the incident should call animal control at 703-691-2131.