‘It’s getting out of hand’ - More than 200 chickens are taking over a Norfolk housing estate

PUBLISHED: 16:46 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:07 15 August 2018

Carol Morris feeding some of the chickens. Picture: Marc Betts

Carol Morris feeding some of the chickens. Picture: Marc Betts


People living on a housing estate in Norfolk say they are close to being overrun with feral chickens.

More than 200 chickens are believed to be living on the estate in Diss after a rooster and a hen were left by previous residents who moved away.

Now the dozens of chickens and six roosters are living in the wild in a bushy area between Ensign Way and Station Road near to the south Norfolk town’s train station.

Carol Morris, 71, moved to the area just over a year ago from Watton and while she thinks the chickens are “lovely”, she fears that they are getting out of control.

The retired clerk said: “I have had the RSPCA out and they say that they have nowhere to take them and they would have to cull them all, there’s nowhere for them to go.

A hen with her chicks. Picture: Marc BettsA hen with her chicks. Picture: Marc Betts

“We love them and everybody takes care of them but it’s getting too much.

“I think it is going to cause an accident one day. The chickens are always crossing the road all the time with cars coming through the estate.”

Most of the hens on the estate can be spotted with between two and eight chicks. The numbers have increased so much that residents have started to block their gardens to stop the chickens getting in.

Mrs Morris added: “We have already had to save a number of the chicks from the drains. Using a dog ball launcher we were able to put it down the drain and pull them up.

Chickens in the children's playground. Picture: Marc BettsChickens in the children's playground. Picture: Marc Betts

“It’s part of the wildlife and the nature here. It’s amazing really, but it is getting out of hand. The only place they could go is if a farm or land owner could come along and take them away.

“It would be such a shame for them to be killed, it would be wicked if that happened. But they are everywhere, it’s crazy.”

A number of residents on the estate take the time to look after the chickens by putting out bird feed and bread for them.

This has made the chickens tame and they can be seen in the children’s playground, in the road and in residents’ gardens.

The chickens are very tame. Picture: Marc BettsThe chickens are very tame. Picture: Marc Betts

Muntjac deer are also known to walk through the estate at night.

Keith Morris, 76, a retired school caretaker, said: “When we moved here we didn’t expect this at all.

“The older hens seem to have 10 to a dozen chicks at a time, meaning we are getting around 50 new chicks every week.

“We love it but it is getting out of hand, it really is.”

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