A wild rooster is causing a headache for a west Auckland community, with pre-dawn crowing waking the neighbourhood very early every morning.
For the past four weeks the cockerel has been providing an unwelcome 4.30am alarm daily and tired, grumpy neighbours of the normally quiet New Lynn street are fed up.
At least 16 complaints have been lodged with Auckland Council after a pair of feral fowl started roaming Miro St just before Christmas.
But despite a bylaw banning roosters in urban areas without a licence and council officials sympathising with affected residents it is only able to act when the animal's owner is known.
In a desperate post on the New Lynn community Facebook page, resident Nickkita Lau is pleading for help to deal with the pair of nuisance chooks offering a six-pack and pizza as payment.
"HELP NEEDED," she wrote.
"There are at least two wild chickens running around on Miro Street. One a hen another one a rooster. The rooster has been waking the entire neighbourhood up at 4.30am for the last two weeks."
Nearby neighbours said they were well over the annoying wake up call.
Posted Sonya Davey: "That rooster is damn annoying in the mornings! Sounds like it's near/at the park that runs between Nikau and Miro Streets."
Lau told the Herald that pretty much everyone in the neighbourhood was over the cock crowing, with some resorting to desperate tactics to get rid of the birds.
"One neighbour said he was spraying them with water whenever they come near his property. Our whole neighbourhood is pretty annoyed."
She said the pair spend their days at a vacant property.
An approach to the Auckland Council's animal control had been met with a flat refusal, with officials saying they were not charged with capturing stray poultry.
She was stunned to be told it was up to residents to catch and re-house them as they didn't have the manpower or resources to deal with them. However, if they could catch either of the birds the council could "dispose of it".
SPCA had also referred her to the council.
"I'm completely at a loss. Anyone with any speciality in this area?" she posted.
Despite a phobia to chickens she had attempted to capture the chooks last night with another woman but the pesky duo proved elusive.
Those on the New Lynn community Facebook page have been quick to offer solutions including tips on how to catch a roaming chicken.
Posted Tracy Lind: "I have a net and quite good at catching chickens. I will go for a look tonight so if anyone sees a weird lady with a cat cage and a net... its just me."
"Watch the rooster at dusk and see where it roosts. Wait! Once it's dark put on some tough gloves... sneak up on it and grab him by the ankles and put him in a dog box!" wrote Angela Patterson.
Melissa Laing said it was matter of ushering them into a place where they couldn't escape from.
"Catching chickens is really about being able to chase them somewhere where you can corner them - do they have a house they tend to hang around (and is that where they are because fml the rooster is so annoying at ALL times of the day)."
Others had a more final and tongue-in-cheek approach.
"You need to get some experts, can I suggest contacting KFC," wrote Chris Townsend.
Auckland Council's team leader compliance response north west Warwick Robertson said the Animal Management Bylaw prohibited roosters in urban areas without a licence.
However, as these birds were not owned by anyone there was no bylaw breach. Enforcement action could only take place when there was an animal owner.
The affected residents had been put in contact with animal welfare groups such as animal rehoming and battery hen rescue and rehoming.
"We understand the community is attempting to catch the birds to either rehome or euthanise them, and we think it's great they're proactively addressing the issue.
"In similar situations in the past, when residents have been able to capture feral roosters, we have assisted by taking them to animal welfare groups," said Robertson.