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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Roundabout 'roosters' face new threat
Roundabout chickens
Chicken rustlers are believed to be at work
A flock of wild chickens which was saved eviction from its roundabout roost is facing a new threat.

The chickens have been living on a roundabout on the Norfolk/Suffolk border at Ditchingham for around 50 years.

The flock first hit the headlines two years ago when Norfolk county councillors flagged up their concerns about road safety and wanted them moved on.

But the Ditchingham Fifty, which daily dodge the traffic on the A143, won a reprieve when the county council had a change of heart after a flurry of protests.


You have a mother with chicks all doing very well and you go the next day and she is gone - and it's not foxes, it's not mink

Chicken campaigner Deirdra Shepherd
Now the flock is in danger again. Hen campaigners believe they are being rustled.

"The hens and their chicks have been sort of systematically - we think - stolen and sold," said long-time supporter Deidra Shepherd.

"They are quite famous. They are very interesting interbreeds and I think people are very interested in them and they want to acquire them so they have been disappearing.

"You have a mother with chicks all doing very well and you go the next day and she is gone - and it's not foxes, it's not mink."

Norfolk police have been asked to investigate the disappearing chickens.


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See also:

02 Dec 02 | Science/Nature
22 Mar 01 | UK
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