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Lucky Ducks

Seven ducklings are lucky to be alive after being pulled to safety from a storm drain in Ohio by Good Samaritans – but the baby mallards ultimately have their mom to thank for their rescue.

Columbus Discovery District Officer Bill Cobun was passing through a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community College Tuesday when he noticed an agitated duck standing near the grate of a storm drain.

The mallard was squawking as if trying to draw someone’s attention and appeared in distress, so Cobun approached the feathered critter for a closer look, suspecting that she might be ill.

Duck in distress: An agitated mallard was spotted standing near the grate of a storm drain in Columbus, Ohio, and squawking Duck in distress: An agitated mallard was spotted standing near the grate of a storm drain in Columbus, Ohio, and squawking

Stranded: Seven chicks had fallen down into the storm drain in a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community CollegeStranded: Seven chicks had fallen down into the storm drain in a parking lot on the Columbus campus of Columbus State Community College
WernerWerner

Hometown heroes:  Columbus Discovery District Officer Bill Cobun (left) and Police Lt. Dan Werner (right) answered the feathered mom’s distress call and came to her ducklings’ rescue 

When the safety officer made his way to the grate, he heard chirping coming from the underground nook.

As it turns out, the mallard was upset that seven of her chicks had fallen down into the storm drain and became stranded, ABCNews.com reported.

Cobun called for assistance, inadvertently alerting the college’s media relations coordinator David Wayne, who rushed to the scene of the duckling rescue accompanied by a videographer.

Meanwhile, college safety officers and Lt. Dan Werner, of the Columbus State Police, arrived in the parking lot and removed the grate.

The rescue of the trapped ducklings was captured on video showing the officers plucking the fuzzy yellow-and-black chicks from the storm drain and setting them free above ground.

Rescue mission: The officers remobed the grate, reached down into the hole and extracted the tiny trapped ducklings Duck tale: The officers remobed the grate, reached down into the hole and extracted the tiny trapped ducklings
ducklings ducklings

Freedom: The tiny baby ducks were released from their captivity, rushing to their mother’s side

Happy end: Once the ducks were reunited, they went about their business Happy end: Once the ducks were reunited, they went about their business

The tiny critters could be seen rushing to their mother’s side, one of them even flipping over in his hurry to reunite with his feathered parent.

Lt Werner, a self-described animal lover, said he was thrilled to help save the baby ducks from their predicament.

‘What amazes me is nature, how mama wouldn’t leave. She was staying right here. She kept looking in the hole to make sure they were OK,’ he said.

Once the tight-knit avian family were back together, the mom and her ducklings went on their merry way.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345558/Lucky-ducks-The-heartwarming-moment-ducklings-fell-storm-drain-rescued-concerned-mother-looks-on.html#ixzz2XDsMFuKf

Groundsman finds duck nesting in OVEN!

For Missy the Muscovy duck, this dry and warm shelter would have appeared like the perfect place to create a nest for her eggs.

But the bird was dangerously close to becoming a roast duck after unwittingly setting up home in a large furnace.

Groundsman Mario Kopitski, 46, was shocked to discover the duck and twelve eggs nesting in the replica 5ft Norman smelting oven moments before he was about to light it.

Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace - moments before he was due to light it Lucky duck: A groundsman was shocked to discover this duck nesting in a furnace – moments before he was due to light it

He was on his daily round of lighting three smelting ovens in the in the nine acre grounds of Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex, when he discovered the white duck and its eggs.

The 25-year-old replica oven is used for cooking bread and reaches temperatures of up to 200C.

Mr Kopitski said despite a variety of animals residing at the farm, including 25 other Muscovy ducks, peacocks and deer, none had ever made their nest in such an unusual place.

‘I’m so relieved I checked the oven when I did – otherwise poor Misty would have been toast,’ he said.

‘It was a real shock to see her sat there and I’m so pleased her and the eggs are safe.’

Home sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatchHome sweet home: The duck has now been allowed to remain in the furnace until her eggs hatch

Alan Goldsmith, who has been curator of the 200AD castle for thirty years, said the duck was incredibly lucky to be alive.

‘It’s awful to think that in a few seconds poor Missy could have been roast duck,’ he said.

‘We’ve decided to leave her there in peace until the eggs hatch in 28 days time and then her ducklings will join her around the grounds.

‘I just can’t get over what a close call she had, it’s been a complete surprise to all of us here.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1274401/Crispy-roast-duck-boiled-eggs-Groundsman-finds-duck-nesting-OVEN.html#ixzz2Wldd1GXQ

Children in Plymouth charged with brutal killing of chickens

  • Three boys aged 15, 13 and 12, will appear before Plymouth’s Youth Court
  • Children at the Brook Green Centre Of Learning had spent six months caring for the chickens
  • The head teacher has described the incident as ‘despicable’

Three children including a 12 -year-old boy have been charged with killing a school’s pet chickens by stamping on them.

Police launched an investigation after the much-loved birds vanished from their coop at a special needs school in Plymouth, Devon, in the UK.

Children at the Brook Green Centre of Learning had spent six months caring for the chickens that were later found strewn dead nearby.

A local doctor has donated four new chickens to the Brook Green centre for Learning (pictured)A local doctor has donated four new chickens to the Brook Green centre for Learning (pictured)

Officers probing the March 16 incident think the animals were stolen then killed by being stamped on.

Three boys aged 15, 13 and 12, were arrested and will appear before  Plymouth’s youth court later this month.

They have been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and causing criminal damage.

Teachers at the school condemned the ‘despicable’ actions.

Head teacher Cliff Edwards told the Plymouth Evening Herald: ‘I am disappointed that people have been so cruel to these defenceless creatures – it was a despicable act.

The children at the school had cared for the chickens for six months before they were stolen and killed (stock image)

The children at the school had cared for the chickens for six months before they were stolen and killed

‘We have a brilliant relationship with the community who have helped look after the chickens, which we’ve had at the school since September. They were well looked after.

‘This is a tragedy for our children who tended to the chickens like they were pets.’

The birds were well secured and guarded by CCTV, but were taken offsite to be killed.

It is believed that they were found by a member of the public.

A Dr Nichols, who lives locally, kindly offered to donate four chickens to the school.

Mr Edwards said that: ‘Acts such as this restore our faith in human nature.’

A police spokesman said: ‘Three boys ones aged 12 from Whitleigh, the other two aged 13 and 15 from Prince Rock, Plymouth, have been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

‘They are due to appear before South and west Devon youth court on the 31st of May.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325591/Gang-children-including-boy-young-12-charged-killing-schools-chickens-stamping-them.html#ixzz2Tpehap2U

Distraught owner appeals for return of sick chickens and turkeys after raiders snatch 20 from her garden

  • Distraught Mollie Green has offered £2,000 appeal for return of pet chickens
  • 16 of the stolen hens were ill and need medication
  • Turkeys George and Maud, who she had for five years, are also missing
  • Four raiders were caught on CCTV cutting into the wired enclosure
DJ Mollie Green feeding her hens before they were stolen on April 30

A DJ has told how ‘evil’ chicken thieves stole her precious pet poultry, and is offering a a £2,000 reward for their safe return.

Mollie Green had rescued most of her 20 hens and two turkeys from battery farms and says that she will ‘never get over it’.

She lovingly refers to them as her ‘girls’ and named the turkeys George and Maud.

The theft from a paddock at her home near Coventry, West Midlands, is especially cruel as 16 of the hens were ill and disabled.

Four raiders were caught on CCTV cutting their way into the wired enclosure with sacks in hand ready to snatch the birds.

A few minutes later they had filled the sacks with the birds which they slung into the back of a van and drove away at 10.15pm on Tuesday, April 30.

‘If anyone has looked after an injured animal they’ll know the bond is incredible,’ said the 38-year-old DJ who works for BBC WM and is married to Richard, who also works in radio.

‘That’s what these animals are to me, I was responsible for each and every one of them.

‘We’ve had George and Maud for over five years, they are part of the family.’

‘I’m still devastated. I’ll never get over it. It’s the not knowing. I know they’re somewhere around here but I don’t know where they are.’

‘The overwhelming sense of responsibility for their lives is what I live with. For someone to snatch them away and end their lives that way is unspeakable. It’s evil.’

‘Commercial chickens are the most abused animals on earth and they are in my care, there’s nobody else.’

Mollie Green with a hen that she rescued from a battery farmTo the rescue: Mollie Green with a hen that she rescued from a battery farm

‘These animals have no value in the world except to me, I’m responsible for their little souls.’

Mrs Green, who volunteers for the British Hen Welfare Trust, gave a home to the recused birds.

The theft of domestic fowl has been on the rise in the UK since it has become fashionable to keep poultry as pets and a source of fresh eggs.

The cost of the animals has shot up from around £5-per-bird to £30, according to the Domestic Fowl Trust.There are also fears that the birds could have been stolen for food.

Mollie is offering a reward for the safe return of her 20 hens and two turkeys Heartbroken: Mollie is offering a reward for the safe return of her 20 hens and two turkeys

Appealing for information about her beloved birds, she said: ‘This is time critical, some might still be alive.

‘But some won’t have survived. Quite a few are on medication or need to be hand fed. They won’t be alive without me.’

Mollie tearfully recounts the images of the thieves captured on CCTV.

‘It was the worst thing I ever had to sit and watch,’ she says.

Pictured is CCTV of a van captured near Mollie's home on Tuesday 30 April between 10.15pm and 10.30 pmEvidence: Pictured is CCTV of a van captured near Mollie’s home on Tuesday 30 April between 10.15pm and 10.30 pm

‘But if everyone could look out for this van. It is a long wheel base, semi high top, Ford Transit type van. The colour’s not clear, but it’s definitely not white.

‘If enough people print out and keep the picture in their cars, we will find this van.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2323445/Distraught-owner-appeals-return-sick-chickens-turkeys-raiders-snatch-20-garden.html#ixzz2TBHRtPoT

Cluckingham Palace

Prince Charles’s made-to-order Highgrove hen house… yours for a poultry £3,750

  • Luxury chicken shed inspired by poultry kept on the Prince’s estate
  • Eco-friendly design expected to ‘sell well’ around Christmas

It is the perfect solution for those seeking a palatial residence… for their pampered poultry.

But to keep hens in such royal luxury, you must be prepared to shell out an eye-watering £3,750.

This hen house is being sold by Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire and is inspired by the birds he keeps there.

The made-to-order Highgrove Hen House is built using Forest Stewardship Council-certified timber, which means it was sourced from a responsibly managed forest, and decorated with eggshell blue water-based paint.

Palatial: The luxury hen house costs an eye-watering £3,750Palatial: The luxury hen house costs an eye-watering £3,750

The roof is natural cedar, the wheels are cast iron and other fixtures are in galvanised steel.

Each house sleeps four to eight chickens and features two nest boxes, adjustable perches and stable-style doors.

Made by Wildlife World, a Gloucestershire firm, the hen houses are being sold on the Highgrove website which describes the design as ‘unique and innovative’.

Proceeds – as with all items sold on the website – will go to charities supported  by Charles.

But a spokesman for the prince admitted yesterday that none has yet been sold.

‘We only launched the hen house in March and we have had a lot of inquiries but no firm orders yet,’ said the spokesman, adding that the houses ‘reflect the interests of Highgrove’.

‘We are confident the hen houses will sell well, and especially at the time of the Christmas market.’

Eggspert: Prince Charles in patron of The Poultry Club of Great BritainEggspert: Prince Charles in patron of The Poultry Club of Great Britain

Highgrove’s website says: ‘Our very first Hen House has been inspired by the poultry kept on the Highgrove Estate by HRH The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Poultry Club of Great Britain.’

Highgrove is selling a matching beehive which, it says, ‘allows bees to live in an environment which is sustainable and low-impact, more akin to their natural environment’.

The hive has a base trough filled with natural woodland material creating an enclosed natural ecosystem that allows beneficial insects to live in harmony with the bees.

Charles has spoken publicly about the plight of the bee and, as well as keeping his own bees, supports beekeepers’ associations through The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Like the hen house, each beehive is bespoke, takes eight to 12 weeks to be produced and has a hefty price tag – each costs £1,250.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2322780/Cluckingham-Palace-Charless-order-Highgrove-hen-house–poultry-3-750.html#ixzz2TBIS3vkC

Chickens help fight cancer

Britney may help fight cancer

The scientists who made history by cloning Dolly the sheep have unveiled their latest creation – a chicken called Britney.

She is the first of four fowl genetically altered so they will be able to provide cancer-fighting agents in their eggs. The experts at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh hope GM chickens will be used in the future to mass-produce cancer drugs.

They plan to be making new drugs to fight skin cancer from chickens like Britney and her friends within a year. Fresh treatments for lung, cervical and breast cancers will follow, they believe.

Many cancer drugs being developed are protein-based but they are complex and difficult to produce in large quantities using traditional manufacturing methods.

By genetically modifying chickens –introducing DNA which makes them produce cancer-fighting proteins – the scientists say the drugs can be manufactured by the ton.

The institute is linking up with the biotechnology company Viragen. The scientists are to introduce the firm’s patented cancer antibodies into their GM chickens so the vital proteins will be produced in the whites of the fowl’s eggs.

Chickens lay an average of 250 eggs a year and are natural protein producers. They are also cheap. So GM hens could turn out to be highly efficient living drugs factories.

Dr Helen Sang, from the Roslin Institute, said yesterday: ‘Avian technology provides a much faster, cheaper and virtually unlimited production process marked by the chicken’s prolific egg laying capacity.’

Any drugs produced using GM chickens would have to undergo lengthy clinical trials before they being made commercially available.

Viragen hope to have trials going within two years.

Although Dr Sang’s team has managed to produce ‘transgenic’ chickens – birds which have had their DNA scientifically altered – the process is inefficient, with only a handful of attempts succeeding.

If the chickens could be cloned, like Dolly the sheep, the success rate could be 100 per cent. The scientists are working towards cloning a chicken.

‘We cannot put a time scale on it,’ said Professor Grahame Bulfield, director of the Roslin Institute. ‘But there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to adapt the technology for chickens.

‘Production of these proteins is still viable using transgenic chickens, but it would be much more efficient with clones.’

The developments at the institute will reignite the ethical debate over the rights and wrongs of so-called ‘pharming’, the use of genetically altered animals to produce drugs.

Dr Andre Menache, president of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, said he had ethical concerns about using animals as ‘manufacturing plants’. ‘But my main worry about this is in terms of public health,’ he added.

‘After BSE, we should be very, very careful about using animal products in people. We could be transmitting something unknown. ‘By creating transgenic creatures, we are producing something new and about which there are many unanswered questions.

‘All kinds of safety hurdles need to be overcome before we start using drugs from transgenic animals. ‘I am not convinced that socalled pharming presents no risk to public health.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7939/Chickens-help-fight-cancer.html#ixzz2RrhPAiFb