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Friday, 28 January, 2000, 12:22 GMT
Curious case of the 1m chicken

A Rhode Island Red chicken Essex bird: A distinctive Rhode Island Red chicken


A prize chicken whose life was insured for 1m has been found dead in suspicious circumstances outside her Essex pen.

Violet, a Rhode Island Red, was insured last February after receiving death threats from villagers in Finchingfield for allegedly defacing a war memorial.



I know the pun fowl play comes to mind but it is to be taken seriously. It's suspicious circumstances
Owner Paula Flight
Her owner, Paula Flight, told the BBC that Violet had been unfairly targeted by villagers after ducks at the memorial adopted her as their "the gang leader".

"She was threatened by the parish council in Finchingfield," Ms Flight said.

"Also she had a near miss on her life when a van ran over her one day. That's why I took out the insurance policy on her life."

Ms Flight put Violet safely to bed as normal on 3 December.

"Unfortunately she was found outside the pen very dead," she said, adding that Violet would not have been able to open the pen herself.

"I know the pun fowl play comes to mind but it is to be taken seriously. It's suspicious circumstances that she was found outside the pen."

'Daughter's pet'

Ms Flight said she had not made an insurance claim to recoup the 1m but understood the insurance company was investigating because a local policeman had told them of the incident.

The chicken's life was reportedly covered only if it was killed and eaten by a parish councillor.

Ms Flight said she had not yet decided whether to buy a replacement for Violet.

"My daughter is still very upset because it was her pet," she said, and appealed for anyone who knew anything about the death to come forward.

Essex police said on Friday they were not investigating.

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03 Sep 99 |  UK
Bermuda Triangle for pigeons

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