Vandals killed a pet hen after smashing their way through a fence in a Dudley garden and releasing poultry from a chicken coop.
Distraught owner Andrea Wright, of Park Road, Woodsetton, was so upset at the destruction visible from her kitchen window that she asked her mother, who lives nearby, to investigate the damage.
She discovered the dead hen in a road on her way there. The 43-year-old owned three birds – a cockerel and two bantam hens – which she named Chicken, Fried Rice and Peas.
She woke on Tuesday last week to discover that yobs had kicked in two 6ft fencing panels at the back of her Woodsetton home. Andrea, who works for a Sandwell alarms company, believes that she may have disturbed them, avoiding a mass slaughter.
"I got up during the night to go to the bathroom. I don't know whether they saw the light and ran off but I'm so thankful I've still got two birds left," she said.
She said the brown hen and cockerel were found cowering in a nesting box while the dead white hen was discovered in Rosalind Avenue. Andrea, who also has a chihuahua, contacted the police and has also put up a reward of £100 for information leading to a conviction.
She said: "Although the hens provided me with eggs, they had become pets. The other hens are now traumatised and have stopped laying. What these people did was brutal." Anyone with information can call Andrea on 07745 683892.