A POULTRY breeder’s pet rare breed chickens have been stolen for the second time in three months.
Thieves broke into a coop at Saighton Lane Farm in Waverton, near Chester, and made off with more than a dozen Polish Chamois hens and cockerels worth hundreds of pounds.
Owner Kate Davies had nine of the same breed stolen in August and believes the same people are responsible for the thefts.
On both occasions the thieves struck when Kate was not at home and took only the Polish Chamois birds, leaving other breeds in the coop.
She describes the distinctive breed as ‘black and white with a big bushy hair do’.
“It’s very creepy because whoever has done this must have been watching us,” said Kate.
“They obviously know what they are doing and what they are looking for. They have taken 13 birds this time and we think they must be stealing to order.
“It’s very upsetting because they are my pets. They all have names and personalities and they are real characters.”
Kate has been breeding chickens for more than 20 years and said the latest brood to be stolen hatched about three months ago.
She kept them in incubators before they were old enough to be moved into the heated coop. Fully grown they would be worth about £30 each.
Kate, who normally keeps about 30 birds, now has just one Polish Chamois remaining called Elvis, who was left behind by the thieves.
She said: “Elvis has latched on to some of the other chickens but they aren’t the same breed so he is lonely.
“Polish Chamois are very well regarded and I breed them because they are so beautiful and distinctive.
“Some of them are frizzled and their feathers curl backwards so they are very easy to spot.”
Cheshire Police are now investigating the theft and are asking anyone who has seen the chickens to come forward.
None of the chickens stolen in August were ever traced and Kate admits she does not expect her precious poultry to return.
She said: “To be honest, we are not very hopeful but we are hoping getting the police involved will stop this happening again.
“Over the past couple of years that has been a big increase in poultry theft as keeping chickens has got more and more popular.”
The latest theft happened between 11pm on Sunday, October 28 and 5am on Monday, October 29.
Inspector Keith Curbishley said: “Clearly the offender must have had access to a vehicle, and there may well have been some extra noise in the area.
“If you saw or heard anything, or think you may have seen these distinctive birds, please get in touch.”
Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious or who has any information should contact Cheshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
See full story in the Chester Leader