Heartless thieves have left an 11-year-old boy devastated after repeatedly poaching the eggs he sells to look after his chickens.
Instead of spending his free time playing computer games, William Mullin gets up at 6.30am every day to feed his 50 chickens and 100 prize-winning sheep.
William decided to start selling the eggs his chickens produced to pay for his fledgling hatchery business and ever-growing flock.
He set up a box to sell them at the bottom of his family’s field, and left an honesty box for people to leave their cash when they took some of the eggs.
Since then, his eggs have become a hit with his neighbours and walkers, who leave £1 per half-a-dozen.
But the honesty box has been targeted by thieves who stole not only his money, but also his eggs.
The poachers even threw his eggs at windows in the street where he lives in Marsden, near Huddersfield.
His mum Jamie Mullin said: ‘It’s probably someone who can’t be bothered to go to work and thinks it’s OK to just take the money off a kid.
‘This was all his own idea. He has been farm-mad since he could walk and has spent years building up his sheep and chickens, using all his own money.
‘He spends all his money on them and even asked for an incubator for Christmas so he could hatch even more chickens. He’s now got about 50 or 60, and it’s growing all the time.’
The youngster couldn’t believe his eyes when he realised his money had been raided.
Jamie added: ‘He was so sad and angry because the money he gets from selling eggs he uses for more feed or equipment for his chickens.
‘We don’t know whether it’s teenagers or kids who keep emptying the money but unfortunately he has had to learn that not everyone is nice.’
But the local community have rallied around in support of William and a stranger put £20 in William’s box to cover the loss of earnings.
His parents have also invested in security cameras to ensure the assailants are caught if they do it again.
Jamie said: ‘We’ve now fitted CCTV so whoever is stealing better smile for the camera, then I can show it to the police.
‘His dad is also building him a better box to make it more secure.’