Children at a Sheffield school have been left heartbroken after their chickens were stolen and plucked.
Youngsters at St Patrick’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Sheffield Lane Top, went to feed the school chickens yesterday morning to find the birds missing and a pile of feathers left behind.
Staff said the chicken coop was fox proof, leaving them to suspect that the chickens were taken for food.
The school is appealing for anyone with information about the theft to contact the police.
Teachers are also hopeful somebody will offer to replace the chickens and provide an even safer coop for them.
Learning mentor Victoria Elliott said the theft had shocked the whole of the school.
“We had only had the chickens for seven weeks but the children were all interested in them and were going to be given the opportunity to help look after them,” she said.
“The children were feeding them and letting them out every morning and the group looking after them this term went to the coop yesterday to find the chickens missing and a pile of feathers.
“The coop was fox proof so we believe that they were stolen and presumably had their necks wrung and were plucked because somebody wanted them for food.”
Ms Elliott said the chickens were kept next to a school allotment and were helping to teach the children about the responsibility of caring for living creatures.
“They were not only giving the children a sense of responsibility but they linked in with our school allotment, where we grow fresh veg.
“Every child was going to get the chance to be involved with their care and they were going to be named at our summer fair.
“There will be a lot of upset children.”