Fowl play

170412 Jill Horsburgh at her chicken coup.
170412 Jill Horsburgh at her chicken coup.

POLICE are on the look out for a hen rustler after a Winchburgh family believe all their poultry has been stolen.

Jill Horsburgh of Glendevon Farm Cottages kept seven hens in the back garden up until a few weeks ago when they mysteriously disappeared from their enclosed run.

She said: “On Tuesday, April 3, there was snow and the hens had been in their hen house because of the weather, but we saw them just before bedtime.

“My son got up to check their water in the morning but he came back saying there were only three hens. There was no sign of feathers that would indicate foxes - they had just gone.”

Then on the following Tuesday, April 10, the final three hens disappeared, leading the family to suspect foul play.

Jill (52) added: “We’ve had hens for about five years, and haven’t had any problems with foxes although we know of others who have. But there was no way it was any kind of animal - we would have heard it in the house. They must have been stolen.”

Jill suspects the hens were taken while they were dozing on their hen house roof at night, when they would be so relaxed they could be carried out through the unlocked door of the run. Jill added her children Alice (14) and Iain (13) were upset at the loss of the hens - a mixture of Black Rocks, Isa Brown and White Sussex.

She said: “They don’t have a huge egg production and weren’t exotic breeds - it’s more of an interest for us. It’s disappointing - they were two to three years old and not worth anything.”

She hoped that the hens might have been taken to supplement someone else’s brood rather than for putting in the pot. If you have any information contact Linlithgow police station on 01506 843235.