LOS ANGELES — It was a race against the cluck as California Highway Patrol officers scrambled to rescue nearly 20 chickens that ran through highway lanes near Los Angeles.

The agency says the birds blocked a portion of Interstate 605 in the Norwalk area Tuesday morning after their cage fell from the back of a truck.

The agency tweeted photos and video of the chickens on the highway and a motorcycle officer collecting them.

Officers managed to rescue 17 birds. Two died.

The driver transporting the chickens was unaware that the birds fell off the truck and did not stop.

The Southwest Area Animal Control Authority is giving the owner until Jan. 6 to reclaim the chickens or else they'll be put up for adoption.