Claude the missing cockerel found safe and well

Claude the cockerel re-united with his owner Jane Gosney, after being found on the banks of the River Ure. (110413AR2pic2)
Claude the cockerel re-united with his owner Jane Gosney, after being found on the banks of the River Ure. (110413AR2pic2)

A BISHOP MONKTON farmer says she is “absolutely delighted” to be reunited with her prize cockerel, less than a week after he went missing.

Jane Gosney’s cockerel Claude disappeared from her farm in Bishop Monkton on the night of Monday, April 4, but was found on the outskirts of Ripon the following weekend.

Mrs Gosney said: “I am absolutely delighted to find him again. He’s back with the hens, safe and sound, but I am keeping him under lock and key at night from now on.”

Jane said she received two phone calls on Saturday evening and Sunday morning from a Ripon man, who had spotted a Light Sussex cockerel by the river close to Ripon racecourse. He said he had read about the missing cockerels in last week’s Gazette and contacted Mrs Gosney to see if the bird was hers.

On Sunday evening Jane and two helpers set off to see if it really was the missing Claude.

“We went around dusk, and found him among the bushes where he was roosting for the night,” she said.

“He was quite dozy so we didn’t have any trouble catching him. He was probably quite pleased to be going back home.”

Claude is a “chunky” bird according to Mrs Gosney, so it is unlikely he travelled the two and a half miles under his own steam.

“There’s no way he flew there,” she said, “which makes it even more curious. How did he get from Bishop Monkton to Ripon racecourse?”

Five cockerels have disappeared from Bishop Monkton farms and hen houses over the last year, including two who vanished the same night as Claude. There was no sign of the other birds where Claude was found.