Playing chicken for a pounds 10,000 nest egg

THE SCENARIO treads a fine line between the horrors of a Turkish jail and a Jeremy Beadle prank. Take four grown men, shoe-horn them into a cramped wire-mesh cage, feed them down a pipe with boiled rice and beans and leave them to their own devices for a week.

Despite these rigours, the participants have pledged that it would be wholly inappropriate for any of them to chicken out. The whole point of the exercise is to settle a dispute over whether humans can spend a week enduring the same conditions as battery hens.

Of course, it is not an ordeal any of those involved would undertake for chicken feed - they each stand to gain pounds 2,500 if they stay the course.

The four accepted a challenge from the vegan author Rebecca Hall, who wants to expose 'animal concentration camps' used to produce cheap food by intensive farming. To qualify for the cash they will need to share a sloping ground space a metre square and nearly 2 metres high (about 3ft square by 6ft).

The cage has no sanitation and is raised off a stable floor at Ms Hall's home in Woolhope, near Hereford. The four have agreed not to use drugs or sanitation bags.

All barefoot, they will have to survive on the diet of boiled brown rice and beans which will be fed to them down a pipe on to a metal tray outside the cage. They can reach water dripping from a tap. A rope will ring an alarm if they want to be set free.

Those in the cage include Daryl Heathfield, 27, from Newent, Gloucester. His left leg has been amputated and he wants the money to buy a more comfortable replacement.

He is joined by a 15-stone builder, Bill Davies, 34, of Leominster, and Stuart Wastie, 21, a photography student, and Richard Brett, both from Witney, near Oxford .

Mr Brett, 34, a 6ft 3in lorry driver, said: 'I'm stuck in a lorry cab all day and I thought the money would be useful. It's going to be disgusting but we will have to co-operate to retain a certain amount of dignity.'

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Year 1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments