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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 February 2005, 10:47 GMT
Dead chickens hit Australia homes
By Phil Mercer
BBC, Sydney

Raw chickens
The frozen chicken missiles have damaged several homes
Australian police are investigating how and why homes near Sydney have been bombarded by dead chickens.

Residents in the city of Newcastle believe the birds may have fallen from an aircraft or been fired by pranksters using a slingshot.

Two homes have been damaged since the mystery began.

When a headless chicken crashed on to a suburban house in Newcastle last month, most people thought it had fallen from a low-flying aircraft.

It's raining hen
Newspaper headline
That theory is now in doubt after a second bird fell on to another home nearby at the weekend.

Such was the damage to the roof that experts are convinced the carcass must have plummeted at least 1,600 feet (490 metres).

A physics professor at Newcastle University has pointed the finger at local wags, armed with a giant slingshot or catapult.

The mystery has delighted headline writers around Australia.

Among the gems were "It's raining hen" and "Crashing chooks ruffle residents' feathers"!

The police have admitted they do not have much to go on - apart from two very squashed chickens.

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