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'I wanted to hit somebody' - Shock as chickens are mutilated and left for dead

PUBLISHED: 16:06 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:26 18 April 2019

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

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Six chickens are making a slow recovery after they were stolen, mutilated and left for dead in brambles by the side of a road.

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

Stephen Stockdale, from Swaffham, said he was distraught after five of his chickens, as well as five belonging to a friend of his, were taken from the allotments at Tumbler Hill in the mid Norfolk town.

Mr Stockdale, 46, said he discovered they were missing around 4pm on Monday, April 8.

He said: “When I got onto the allotment all the chooks were running around and I knew something was wrong. They had let all the chooks out of their pens and just took the ones they wanted.”

Three cockerels and two hens of Mr Stockdale's were taken as well as three cockerels and two hens from a neighbouring allotment.

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

Mr Stockdale said some youths had been seen leaving the site. He said: “Two or three kids were seen going away from the allotments with bags on their bikes. Big bags.”

After a week ofsearching and sharing the details of the missing chickens on Facebook groups, a woman said she had seen chickens beside Castle Acre road, just north of the A47 flyover north of Swaffham.

Mr Stockdale said he recovered them on Tuesday morning - April 16.

He said: “They were really deep in the brambles. It took me about six hours to get them out.”

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

He said he was shocked and angry at the state of the six cockerels that were left there, covered in blood.

Mr Stockdale said: “They had their wattles cut off, their combs cut off, head feathers cut off, white cheek markings cut out.

“They were tortured and then mutilated.

“I just wanted to hit somebody. We were really upset by it to see that someone could do that to harmless chooks. I know some people can be cruel but I've never seen anything like that in my life.”

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

Mr Stockdale said the incident had been reported to the police.

His fiancée, Tracey Burdette-Deakin, said: “Our birds are petrified but recovering slowly. All our chickens have now been moved.

These young people must be stopped.

“They are cruel and dangerous.

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, after it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

Our hens remain missing, we hate to think what they are going through.”

A Norfolk police spokesman said the chickens were believed to have been taken between 5pm on Sunday, April 7 and 10am on Monday, April 8. A spokesman said: “Police would be interested to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in that area around the time of the offence.”

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting ref. 36/24167/19

One of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, before it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALEOne of the chickens from the Swaffham allotment, before it was stolen and mutilated. Picture: STEPHEN STOCKDALE

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