Marilyn’s plucked from us for good

Confident and sassy: Marilyn in her heyday.
Confident and sassy: Marilyn in her heyday.
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Marilyn Monroe, RIP.

What a fabulous bird you were. Confident; sassy and a magnificent breasts, you stood out from the flock.

And what ever anyone might have said about you being a feather brain, I always knew you had more up top than the others.

It was so evident you were smart. You were a girl who saw every open door as a God-given opportunity, every out-stretched hand as one to take advantage of. While your more timid girlfriends would stand nervously in your shadow, you’d be straight in there, cockily snatching up a proffered hunk of stale bread from my hands.

You were my favourite chicken, and now you’re dead. Deceased. Gone to free-range in a place where they’ve never heard of KFC or battery farming and where foxes have no desire to snap off your head, just for fun.

Not that this was our Marilyn’s fate. Such are the extent of our anti-Reynard raid strategies I’d say we were fox-proof if I wasn’t too scared I might be tempting fate and the competitive nature of the bright eyed and bushy tailed.

We put padlocks on the hutch after we’d heard foxes can undo bolts; Bloke hand-built a run strong enough to withstand a tornado, should global warming ever whip one up in Kimberworth, when someone told us foxes will repeatedly hurl themselves at what they see as a big pantry on the lawn. All the way round it, he dug steel wire 30cm into the earth, then 40cm out at a right angle, because we’d heard foxes will dig their way in, but are not foxy enough to work outside those dimensions.

All that, then Marilyn goes and falls foul of “women’s problems.”

We went down to the run on Thursday evening to find her lying dead in the mud. The other four chooks had all gone off to bed, incidentally; so much for sisterhood.

Panicking that she’d got a disease, or avian bird flu, I made Bloke put on rubber gloves and pick her up. He nearly vomited; her bottom was hanging out. Sorry; graphic mental picture, I know.

Being of a certain age and in possession of an Armani punani thanks to a teeny bit of nipping and tucking at Rotherham General some years ago, I knew straight away what it was. She’d had a prolapse.

Feeling sad and guilty that she must have been in pain, we wrapped her in a plastic sack, put her in the bin with a few nice words and consulted my chick lit to find out why it had occurred, and if we could have prevented it.

Well, they happen when a chicken strains too hard to lay, or an egg gets stuck and causes an infection.

And you can try to save a chicken mid prolapse. You become amateur gynaecologist, push everything back in with a gloved finger, then smear the chicken’s privates with your husband’s haemorrhoid cream to reduce swelling. After that, you wrap up your chicken with Parma ham. No, sorry, I mean a large crepe bandage. Animal lovers, please note: I’m only making light because I’m trying not to be upset.

I could see a major flaw in this procedure, though; namely, a chicken only has the one bottom and not only eggs come out of it. How many times a day would you be changing that bandage?

It said that you should try to stop it laying eggs for a while, though not how. Which I think is a far bigger conundrum than wondering why the chicken crossed the road.