Coming from a farming family who, in latter days, have kept chickens and ducks, whilst growing large quantities of over-sized vegetables, I have always taken a philosophical view of nature’s brutalities and the fact that foxes are a constant threat.
In my youth I was a fan of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, which I regard as a witty and subversive take on things agricultural. They are very easy to over-romanticise, with their handsome looks and lithe movements, and you can forget that actually they are cunning little devils capable of slipping bolts, climbing wire and flicking hatches. when it comes to chickens, they’re not above killing the lot and taking only one or two.
Funny then (though not for the fox), to read in Metro about a very different turning of the tables. Chickens lend themselves to groansome puns, so the journo has some fun with “a murder most fowl”.
Anyway, it would appear that chickens in Basildon are made of sterner stuff than your average Rhode Island Red. Dude the cockerel, Izzy, Pongo and Pecky clearly had other ideas than becoming the latest take-out meal for a passing fox. I can only imagine what Michelle Cordell feeds them on. (I have a sneaking suspicion that I know where these chickens hang out!)
Hats off to Basildon’s tougher breed of chook.