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Cock-a-doodle-don’t as noisy cockerel banished from Maida Vale school

PUBLISHED: 19:35 23 February 2012

Pupils Valentine Fernandes, 12, Jay Manning, 12, and Nurul Ismail, 12, with the remaining hens, who are now missing their cockerel. Picture: Polly Hancock

Pupils Valentine Fernandes, 12, Jay Manning, 12, and Nurul Ismail, 12, with the remaining hens, who are now missing their cockerel. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A nuisance cockerel that was mistaken for a female hen has been banished from a Maida Vale school because its crowing woke neighbours at the crack of dawn.

The cockerel, named Ghee, was initially thought to be a hen when he arrived at Paddington Academy late last year.

But he then started to crow relentlessly at the break of day.

An unfortunate combination of Ghee maturing, the sun rising earlier and the school breaking up for half-term left residents with an unwelcome early alarm call every morning last week.

Elaine Fletcher, 56, whose house in Shirland Road backs on to the school’s chicken coop, said: “I started to hear it after the Christmas period but it was very intermittent.

“Because the mornings were darker then I would often already be up for work when it was crowing.

“But last week it just went into full guns blazing mode from about 6.10am over half-term.

“It would go non-stop every 10 seconds for about five minutes and then it would stop. You would just be dozing off and then it would start again.

“It’s very unpleasant when you are not getting your natural sleep.”

The noisy cockerel continued crowing until the school returned from half-term this week, when Mrs Fletcher was finally able to raise the problem with staff.

The school assured her it would act promptly and staff reluctantly arranged for Ghee to be taken to a new farm home in Vauxhall the same day.

Shelly Coles, whose pupils run the school’s chicken project, said: “Paddington Academy is committed to being a good neighbour and so as soon as we became aware that the cockerel was waking up local residents, we arranged for it to be taken to Vauxhall City Farm.

“All the students were very sad to see Ghee go, but we look forward to welcoming new, quieter hens to the academy in the near future.”

Mrs Fletcher said the school should have got rid of the cockerel sooner but praised its actions and said mornings have been “bliss” since Ghee’s departure.

The cockerel had been housed at the school alongside four hens called Monkey, Omelette, Bog and Crusty.

The school started keeping chickens in 2010, when it brought in six battery farm rescue hens, but it now receives birds from Vauxhall City Farm. The eggs are sold to staff and students, and a Pancake Day race was held on Tuesday with batter made using the eggs.


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