Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

'Evicted' cockerel moves to farm

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Noisy cockerel flies the nest

A wandering cockerel is settling into a new country home after being "evicted" from a Tyneside council estate.

Basil arrived in Henderson Avenue, Gateshead, six months ago and was adopted by many of the residents.

But complaints about his early morning crowing prompted housing officials to issue the bird with a notice to quit.

A last-ditch meeting failed to win a reprieve and he has now been moved to a Northumberland farm, where he has become "husband" to 23 hens.

The campaign to save the popular but noisy cockerel from eviction sparked national interest, and fans even wrote to Buckingham Palace asking the Queen to back their efforts.

His new ladies were a bit taken aback by his arrival but he is now ruling the roost
Basil's new owner Claire Thorburn

Local nuns supported the bird and hundreds of people joined a "Save Basil" group on the social-networking site Facebook.

The Gateshead Housing Company said that, as livestock, Basil could not remain on the council estate under existing tenancy agreements.

New owner Claire Thorburn, 32, of Bamburgh, said: "Unfortunately, I lost my cockerel Henry a couple of weeks ago and when I heard about Basil I thought he would make good husband material.

"His new ladies were a bit taken aback by his arrival but he is now ruling the roost."

She added his main keeper on the housing estate, Joyce Callaghan, was planning to visit the bird soon.

Basil was introduced to his new companions on Monday night.

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