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Very rare four-legged chick hatched in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 08 May 2017

Mark Overton with his son Jake, 9, and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark Overton

Mark Overton with his son Jake, 9, and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark Overton

Archant

A Norfolk man got the shock of his life when he went to move his batch of eight newly-hatched chicks - and found that one of them had four legs.

Mark Overton with his sons  and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark OvertonMark Overton with his sons and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark Overton

Mark Overton, who has a smallholding in Kerdiston, near Reepham, said he could not believe his eyes when he saw the bizarre bird after it hatched two weeks ago.

Mr Overton, 50, said: “I’ve had the hen since last year and she’s the mother to these little chicks.

“I went to move them from the hay barn to an enclosure to keep them safe from the stoats and foxes, and I noticed that one of them was moving a bit differently to the others.”

Mr Overton said he discovered the extra limbs when he went to take a closer look.

Mark Overton with his son Jake and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark OvertonMark Overton with his son Jake and four-legged Speedy, who was hatched on their Norfolk smallholding. Picture: Courtesy of Mark Overton

He said: “I saw it had four, perfectly-formed legs, with little claws. It was a huge surprise.

“I breed a little bit of poultry as a hobby, and I was very surprised to see this little chick walking around with four legs.

“I think it must be something you would only see once in a lifetime, if that.”

Mr Overton said the chick had fascinated his three children, especially the youngest, nine-year-old Jake, who, like his dad, has developed an interested in poultry breeding.

The four-legged chick has since died. Picture: Courtesy of Mark OvertonThe four-legged chick has since died. Picture: Courtesy of Mark Overton

He said Jake named his four-legged friend Speedy because he thought his extra legs would make him impossible to catch.

Mr Overton said he originally had high hopes the chick would survive despite its unusual nature.

He said: “It was walking around and eating and drinking just fine.”

But Mr Overton said Speedy was not growing as fast as the others, and sadly died a few days ago.

The four-legged chick. Picture: Courtesy Mark OvertonThe four-legged chick. Picture: Courtesy Mark Overton

They also breed ducks and keep turkeys and geese on their free-range farm.

Mr Overton said he had tried to find out if there had been many other four-legged chicks born, and had only found reference to a couple of others after an online search. There are reports online of four-legged chickens being hatched in Chile, India and China and growing to maturity.

But this is the first one that Mr Overton has heard of hatching the UK. He said: “It’s a very unusual thing to happen.”

Have you discovered something unusual where you live? Email reporter Stuart Anderson at stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk or call him on 01603 772588

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