A PET chicken stolen by a youth from the garden of a woman's home in Copplestone and which was reportedly thrown many feet down onto a railway line has been found alive.

It was five weeks ago, at 8.30pm on Easter Monday, April 10, that Anne Gatton watched an intruder in her garden stealing her pet Black Frizzle chicken, Peggy.

Shortly after the theft, Anne told the "Courier": “I was in the conservatory and saw him near my hen house.

“I shouted at him ‘Get out’ and he just carried on running around after her. He had so much cheek.

“I think he picked her off her perch but had dropped her and that was why he was running around down the bottom of my garden.

“I was too scared to go down there.

“Peggy is small to hold and he had slid the bolt to the hen house.

“I think he had a hoodie on and he got in through the hedge by standing on a shelter roof at the far end of the garden and jumping down.

“He also left by going through the hedge in the same area.

“He was quite tall, I guess about 16 years-old, not a youngster, but there must have been four or five young people all together.

“All the others were watching over the hedge from the pavement.

“I guess they were setting each other up.

“What was amazing was after I shouted he just carried on, if it had been young children they would have run.”

She continued: “After they left I walked to the bridge but there was no sign of Peggy.

“I dread to think what they have done with her.


“I was so traumatised afterwards I just sat there crying and shaking.“

I was told by a neighbour that the youths were seen going up across a field opposite.

“I have walked around and people with dogs have been in the field. The worry is if they left her in the field she will have died by now.

“Being a Frizzle, a special breed, she wouldn’t survive in this wet weather and could also be caught by a fox or weasel.

“I thought to myself, what do they want with her, what will they do to her, she doesn’t deserve to be so cruelly treated.

“She was a rescue hen, is an old lady, and after being treated badly in her younger life has now been treated so badly at what I believe was the end of her life.

“If she is still alive I hope the gang make amends and bring her back.

“It might have just been a stupid thing to do but I don’t know whether I feel I am in shock or just angry.”


Mrs Gratton said she had reported the incident to the police via an online form and said she hoped that the community police officers would call around the village more and “get involved again”.

“At the moment I feel so vulnerable. The garden is my sanctuary and someone has trespassed in that.

“I do wonder if parents know what their youngsters are doing.

“I can’t work out what the youths are going to do next.

“I wonder what is in their heads.”


Anne took to her local Facebook group on Friday, May 12, to explain: "Peggy the stolen chicken has been recovered alive from the Railway line.

"How she was never killed by a train, a fox or something, I will never know.

"I just want to say the biggest thank you ever to the good Samaritan who made her homecoming possible.

"She will be a solitary Frizzle hen now as I re-homed the big hen she lived with and it could be dangerous for Peggy to take her back as she is settled with another big hen.

"A big thank you to everyone who messaged with information and sympathy/anger.

"After five weeks of her living on a railway line she is a real little survivor."