Rosa Parks chickens found dead, buried on campus

The Rosa Parks Elementary School chickens one day after they were born in April. The two lighter-colored chicks, in the back left corner, were the ones that were stolen. (One of them is hard to spot and appears more like a blur.) Photo: Tanya Stiller

The Rosa Parks Elementary School chickens one day after they were born in April. The two lighter-colored chicks, in the back left corner, were the ones that were stolen. (One of them is hard to spot and appears more like a blur.) Photo: Tanya Stiller

Two chickens that were stolen from an outdoor coop at Rosa Parks Elementary School earlier this month were found dead and buried in the school yard Tuesday, according to the school’s garden teacher.

Tanya Stiller wrote Berkeleyside late Tuesday afternoon with the update: “I just found the two chickens. They were killed, and buried on top of each other in the garden. I saw what looked like the back of a bird sticking up in a spot where neighboring cats sometimes do their dirty business. It looked like a cat had been scratching there, probably uncovering what it could smell. There was an old wooden garden sign, that kinda looked like a cross next to it. Clearly there was remorse.”

The chickens, named Chip and Daisy, were removed from an outdoor coop sometime during the first weekend of June, Stiller told Berkeleyside last week. They were part of a group of five chickens Stiller had been using as part of her curriculum to teach students about the birds’ life cycle.

Stiller, who has been working at Rosa Parks for seven years, said she received two grants — from the  Berkeley Public Schools Fund and a crowd-funding website called — to set up a program earlier this year to study the life cycle of chickens, from the egg to adulthood. She said she thought adding animals to the garden program would create another way for students to connect with the natural world.

Stiller said four other Berkeley schools, John Muir and LeConte elementary schools, as well as Willard and King middle schools, also have chickens as part of their gardening programs.

Wednesday she said she hopes to find out more about why the chickens were taken and how they died: “I would love to have an anonymous note from whomever did this to explain what happened, and maybe even why.”

Anyone with information about what happened to the chickens can send an anonymous note to Berkeleyside, for publication, at

Thief steals 2 school chickens from Rosa Parks campus [06.07.13]
Pets abandoned in Tilden can become dinner for predators (05.02.13)
Podcast: Ain’t nobody here but us chickens (07.26.12)
Chickens let loose on Berkeley High campus reunited with owners (06.14.11)

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  • The_Sharkey

    Like I said last week, troubled kid.

    The teachers at Rosa Parks need to be on the lookout to see if they can figure out which of their students did it. A cross-like grave marker might indicate remorse, but it might also just be part of a ritual that this kid is developing.

    Killing one could easily be an accident. Killing two? That’s something different.

  • guest

    I just… this is news?

    How much space will be devoted to this story?

  • The_Sharkey

    Don’t like it, don’t read it.
    It’s really that simple.

    This is a community news blog.
    Someone in the community might have known something that could have helped.
    This story alerts people who were reading that they don’t need to be on the lookout any more.
    Pretty straight forward.

  • A

    I hope they find who did this. Sometimes a child that tortures animals becomes a person that treats humans the same way.

  • John Holland

    Clearly, the Boalt Bird Murderers have struck again!

  • AttaGrrl

    Time to up the security on the hen house! BTW, there’s nothing that indicates it was a child. I don’t know why that’s the assumption. Might be a good time to re-home the chickens for the summer and come up with a solid plan to keep the remaining chickens safe.

  • The_Sharkey

    This is just a guess, but an adult would probably be smart enough to remove the evidence from the scene of the crime rather than burying it within spitting distance.

    Baby chicks are really tiny and very easy to dispose of.

  • Guest

    No longer baby chicks. They were born in April!

  • The_Sharkey

    Pullets are still pretty small. Easy enough to wrap up in a jacket or put in a plastic bag and then toss in a trash can somewhere.

  • guest

    (or just eat)

  • AttaGrrl

    Sharkey, your mind goes to dark places. Perhaps you need to take a break from reading Berkeleyside posts. Just a thought…

  • Truth Sayer

    A chicken serial killer? I saw a suspicious person hanging around KFC. :-)

  • guest

    Don’t dis the Fin’ster. He has a talent for saying things we all think, but don’t say.

  • guest

    KFC sells chicken cereal?

  • guest

    Chicken blood is a staple of Voo Doo rituals. Any cultural emersion courses offered at Rosa Parks?

  • Truth Sayer

    Serial is not cereal, just like pen is not pin.

  • guest


  • AttaGrrl

    It’s “immersion” not “emersion”. And that’s a racist comment.

  • star5

    whether this is an adult or child….it is a hateful and devious act which needs calling out. whoever the person (or people) are need some serious therapy. The concern is for the community and children who are trying to live, learn and teach in a safe environment. There needs to be intervention and zero tolerance for this behavior for so many reasons.

  • guest

    Atta Grrl…You are the racist, do-gooder, know nothing, Berkeley reactionary.
    Read. Learn. Respect:

    PS: Life is not a spelling bee.

  • attagrrl

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  • guest

    A spelling lesson and then a Shakespeare quote. Precisely what you’d expect from a “No way” Berkeleyite, dissing one of the worlds oldest religions.

    Like I said: Read. Learn. Respect:

    Particularly the section titled: Voodoo and its fight to survive.