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.

63 thoughts on “Alas, poor Chicken Four.

  1. JonnyB says:


    I guess I could go in and edit it, but that would be revisionism, like in seventies Russia. And nobody wants a return to those days, what with the food shortages and arguments about chess an’ all that.

  2. Pat says:

    Take heart. Isn’t there always a runt in the litter? Maybe chicken four was your runt – poor little thing.

  3. Lisa says:

    I don’t see why you don’t do revisionism, since clearly this is a Brezhnev era gulag you’re running–you pretend to be nice, but you still shoot the sick.

  4. Miss Mohair says:

    I don’t like chooks at all. My father kept chooks which would continue to run around when he had cut their heads off, which was rude I thought. Such was his enthusiasm for chooks I was very nearly a “Chook Farmer’s Daughter”.
    Nevertheless, Vale chook #4.

  5. GingerBollox says:

    Oy Napoleon, I suppose you wandered in to the coop and told them that Chicken 4, who shall now be known as Boxer, was going to the animal hospital! And that bang was just the vet slamming the car door.

  6. Sophie says:

    BTW, did Chicken Four get a last cigarette? It’d be a jolly bad show if she didn’t, donchaknow …

  7. Did somebody mention Bulgakov? You’re a lass after my very own heart-of-a-dog, Lily.

    Mind you, The Fatal Eggs wouldn’t have been my first choice as metaphor for decadent bourgeois-jonnyist deviationism. Jonny’s life is more The White Guard – a catalogue of sad, feckless fin de regime incompetence, waiting chicken-like for the axe of fate to fall. He’s not the doomed doctor, tho’. More the syphilitic poet…

  8. Hamish says:

    I’d go more for The Master and Margarita. Jonny is like the Russian slave-masters ruling over the poor chicken proliteriate.

    By the way, aren’t we clever, we can quote Russian authors, aren’t we just GREAT!

  9. Nick P says:

    That’s a lot of boooooo-ing. The disappointment is strong in this one.

  10. Yes we are, Hamish. Yes we are.

    But Jonny doesn’t strike me as M&M material, either. Berlioz might be the closest fit, but (tempting as it is to imagine him falling under a tram) Jonny has never been that influential in his life. He can’t even impose his will upon a few b-list chickens, let alone the Soviet Writers’ Union…

  11. Grimy Miner says:

    The reason why Ironside had to retire was that he was tired of being pushed about!!!

    I thang yew!


  12. Franchi says:

    It was probably Mareks that chicken four had, she was about the right age for it. You will have to go and look that up on google but trust me, you did the best thing.

    The idea of Anne Robinson laying an egg does have a certain gross fascination about it though.

  13. BOOOOOOOOOOO i wanted chicken ironside

    Hooray for chicken ironside

    and,i guess under the circumstances-R.I.P Chicken Ironside

    xox eve xox

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