Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Rescued cockerel makes love match

Basil and Bonnet
Basil's feathers have been ruffled by an ex-battery hen

A cockerel which was rescued by a farmer after being evicted from a Tyneside council estate has found love.

Basil was adopted by residents of Henderson Avenue, Gateshead, in 2008 but following complaints the council issued the bird with a notice to quit.

Claire Thorburn, 32, took him in at her farm in Bamburgh and he became a companion to her 23 hens.

However one hen, Bonnet, has caught his eye and it is hoped there will be a brood of chicks by Spring.

The campaign to save the popular, but noisy, cockerel from eviction sparked national interest, with hundreds of people joining a "Save Basil" group on the social-networking site Facebook.

True love

He was eventually taken in by Ms Thorburn where he met Bonnet.

Ms Thorburn said: "Everywhere Basil goes Bonnet runs along after him, she is really in love.

"This is a case of true love conquering all, she is a battery hen and her survival has defied all odds, and he fought against eviction from his Gateshead home and became a celeb in the poultry world."

Joyce Callaghan, his main keeper in Gateshead, has been to visit Basil and said: "Bonnet just adores him and I hope there will be some chicks soon."

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