'They seem scared' - town's cockerel killing spree fears

a cockerel stands alone in Fakenham

Fakenham residents are concerned about a drop in the number of cockerels on Goggs Mill Lane - Credit: Annette Connolly

Concern has been raised over the welfare of cockerels in a market town, amid fears they are being killed.

The birds have been a common sight by the river in Goggs Mill Lane in Fakenham, but residents have raised concern about the birds’ safety following a high number of examples of their disappearing.

Glenda Sturman from the town first raised concern in February when she found blood and feathers around where 30 of them slept.

When she shared this, a number of people thought it could have been foxes attacking them, but she said she did not believe this was the case.

a group of cockerels in Fakenham

Glenda Sturman from Fakenham first raised concern about their welfare in February. - Credit: Annette Connolly

“If it was a fox there would be evidence and I’m talking about 30 chickens disappearing in one night,” she said.

“You would smell the foxes, there was no evidence.

“They seem scared now and they don’t go where they used to.”

nine cockerels around the river wensum

Cockerels have been a common sight by the river in Goggs Mill Lane in Fakenham. - Credit: Annette Connolly

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The cockerels tend to gather around the river and have been there for several years.

Mrs Sturman said a man named Sid had a field down the lane and after his wife wanted some chickens he got some.

After this, people started dropping chickens off and Sid was taking them in.

After he died the spot became a dumping ground for cockerels with no clear indication of who was responsible for the animals.

A spokesperson for North Norfolk District Council said: “As NNDC does not own the land and has no jurisdiction over this matter, we will not be investigating it.

“If members of the public are concerned about the incident they may wish to contact the relevant agencies such as the RSPCA.”

Annette Connolly has lived in Fakenham since 1987 and has seen the birds as a staple of town life.

A group of four cockerels sit on top of a fence in Fakenham.

North Norfolk District Council says it has no jurisdiction over the matter - Credit: Annette Connolly

When she visited the area on March 4 she only saw three of the cockerels.

Like Mrs Sturman, she does not believe this could be foxes.

“You would expect to see corpses and mayhem if it was wildlife,” she said.

“I know foxes can take out a lot, but wouldn’t take them all and leave the places as clean as they did.

“If it was wildlife there would be evidence, and there are no feathers to indicate wildlife.”

Mrs Connolly has contacted PACT rescue centre to see if if it is able to rescue the remaining birds.