Booooooo – we had to shoot Chicken Four.
It lived for only a few weeks. That seems desperately sad and unfair, given that Jeremy Kyle is 43. So five chickens remain: Chicken One, Chicken Two, Chicken Three, Chicken Five and Anne Robinson.
Chicken Four was always smaller than her sister chickens, and it is possible that the strain of coming up to her first egg-production did for her. She became completely paralysed in the leg and pelvis area, and thus was unable to get food or water. There was talk of trying to use an old remote-controlled car to move her about, to create a kind of chicken Ironside without the ability to solve crimes.
I have always been clear in my mind about shooting things – I have no problem if I am subsequently going to eat them, or if they are suffering or in distress (unless they are Jeremy Kyle). For two days, however, Chicken Four remained resolutely cheerful as I popped in to chat to her and to stroke her little head. Not being about to eat a chicken that had been paralysed due to unknown causes, it was difficult to know what to do. Then she fell out of her box, shat all over Short Tony’s conservatory and started making piteous noises. Boooooooo.
Interestingly, the other chickens started laying eggs almost immediately after they heard the ‘bang’. They have clearly been intimidated, although not as much as to stop them making two more escape attempts. I have acquired them some nice new hay from the farm, however, to show that I am not all bad.
Booooooo, boooooo and triple boooooo. I have only been chickening for a few weeks and already I have lost around 17% of livestock. Perhaps this is another thing that I am not cut out to do, like arm-wrestling and getting a proper job. I hope that the other five understand. I would be miserable if I thought they hated me.