150 chickens have been stolen from an orchard near Bridport.

Dorset police today revealed that the fowl were stolen in two separate incidents from Strong Orchard in Pineapple Lane, Salway Ash, the home of Dorset Nectar cider.

Around 100 'silver link' chickens, which roam free around the orchard to help fertilise the land, were taken on Tuesday June 17, while a further 50 of various breeds were taken between midnight and 9am on Wednesday, June 25.

Police Constable Neil Gauden, of Bridport police, said: “This is a significant and targeted theft of a large amount of livestock that has caused considerable expense and inconvenience to the victim.

“It is possible that the thieves have tried to sell the birds locally for an unusually low price or they have may have tried to take them to an abattoir.

“I urge anyone who has been approached by someone selling chickens in unusual circumstances or who has concerns about suspicious behaviour to contact the police.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 25:478. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.