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Kildare's psychic chicken says lay a bet... on Down

A PSYCHIC chicken from Kildare has delivered a blow to Lilywhite fans by clucking for Down in Sunday's semi-final showdown.

Rocky the Chicken is being dubbed as Ireland's answer to Paul the Octopus for his spot-on sports forecasts and has so far accurately predicted the All-Ireland championship results.

Owner Elaine McDonald, from Rosetown in Newbridge, said that they noticed star potential in their chicken from early on.

"There was something exceptional about him from the beginning," she said.

"He used to sit up on my husband's shoulder and if I'm on the computer, he'll be up beside me, trying the keys."



Results

The McDonald family answered the call put out by 2fm's Will Leahy show for an animal that might be able to select team results.

"We put out three saucers with the names of the teams playing either side and one in the middle called 'draw/other'," Elaine explained.

Two-month-old Rocky makes his prediction by opting to eat seed from one out of the three saucers. But the fowl, who has only ever got it wrong once, had bad news for Kildare fans.

Although he didn't do a prediction in the run up to the Dublin and Cork match, he is truly convinced that Down will win next weekend and ran directly to the Mourne men's saucer.

"He is going to get me in trouble because he didn't pick Kildare," she said. "It's the first time I've wanted him to be wrong.

"If he is right, my brother-in-law has a roasting dish for him," she laughed.

Elaine and Paul's children, Ella who turns three next month and Hanna (1), adore their baby chick.

"The girls got up one morning and found Rocky downstairs and they thought that all of their birthdays had come together," Elaine said.

"Rocky stayed in our house since he was a little baby."

At the moment, the family believe that Rocky is a boy, but at this stage it's impossible to tell.

However, Elaine said that regardless of the sex of the chick, they will keep Rocky as a family pet.

"He's looking a bit like Jedward at the moment, he has a spiky fringe and a lot of attitude," she said. "I don't think that he knows he is a chicken."

Now the family got a friend for Rocky called River, who is proving to be an inspiration for him.

"River cries if she is away from Rocky for too long," Elaine said. "She edges him towards the right answer."

"But we try our best to keep him impartial, we don't let him listen to the radio," she laughed.

Elaine, an interior architect and her husband Paul, who works in quarries, both lost their jobs in the recession but found Rocky has given them more quality time at home.

"He is house-reared and when we talk to him, he will talk back," she said.

"He is just like Paul the Octopus, except more cuddly," Elaine added.

clairemurphy@herald.ie