Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Encounter with the "Strange" Hen


The four chickens brazenly sashayed into our yard. Three white chickens, two of them like silky powder puffs with blue eye shadow, one white chicken with a few brown speckles, and a ruddy brown chicken strolled up the recycled tire pathway from the gulch and started pecking at our postage-stamp-sized lawn. Our lawn must have a sign, “We have chickens here! This lawn is pre-pecked! Come and eat!” Meanwhile our three part-time free range hens cackled under the house.

Four hens that showed up in late December from the gulch alongside our house.



 How cool! More chickens! Just what I need! (Really? Do I have a hole in my head?)  The hens looked domesticated, unlike the wild chickens that often roam Maui. The wild chickens often have drab brownish gray feathers and the wild roosters are gorgeous jungle fowl, the color of autumn leaves.

They wandered around our yard and I fed them some chicken food which they pecked at eagerly. Who were these hens? Where did they come from? Were they abandoned by neighbors who moved out? Did they stop laying eggs? Were they caught by some family in suburban Kihei and taken “upcountry?” Did they escape from a chicken coop?

Our neighbor thinks they may be related chickens, 
from different mothers but the same father.

Then one of the white powder puff hens crowed very loudly, “Cock a doodle doo!” Hens don’t crow. But it didn’t look like a rooster. Was this a transsexual, transgendered chicken?  He/she/it had no long tail feathers, no fancy plumage, but then I noticed the sharp spurs on the feet, the backward facing spikes that roosters use to beat up other roosters. And there was a larger wattle under the chin.  It was, oh no, a rooster in disguise! 

It finally happened. Our yard had attracted a rooster. Some people warned me that hens will attract a wild rooster, the same way that a Ladies Night at Casanova is supposed to attract single men. But even people without chickens can end up with unwanted wild roosters and harems of hens in their yards.


Feathered family portrait

Maybe a rooster would be a good thing. Maybe our hens would get laid. Maybe they needed to get laid (though hens don't need a rooster any more than a fish needs a bicycle). Maybe they would produce more eggs. Maybe they’d have a happy spring in their step. Maybe we’d have baby chickens. Oooh! Oh, the cat would really like baby chickens. 

Maybe not a good idea.

The next day, there was no sign of the rooster or the new chicks on the block. They must have disappeared. Maybe they found another place to visit.

A couple of days later, our neighbor asked if we had acquired a rooster.

“Like a white rooster?”

“Yep.”

“Nope, he’s not ours. Have you seen him around?” 

“Yep, he was here all day yesterday. If he keeps showing up, I’m going to have to disappear him. He’s too loud.”

Guess which one is the rooster?

Maybe the rooster would get the idea and not hang out in our yard. Maybe he would learn to be quiet. But was he really a rooster, or a female chicken that had become male? He just didn't look right for a rooster. Maybe the chickens would go somewhere else. But they showed up the next day, disappeared for a while and then showed up a day later. I can’t resist giving them a little chicken food now and then, which is perhaps a slippery slope to my becoming the crazy chicken lady with too many chickens. "If you feed them, they will come." Field of Chickens, an all too real phenomenon on Maui. It has happened to many a yard. We’ll see what happens.

This post is part of a blog hop on Camera Critters, a meme of animal photos. Thanks, Su-sieee Mac!

6 comments:

  1. Haha! Love all the humor in this post. Poor roosters, though. I mean, in the scheme of things they really are not that noisy. I can learn to sleep through roosters crowing, for example, but the sound of a lawn mower or a leaf blower? Never!

    ~Tui, dropping by from the #StoryDam linky. Hope to see you at chat!
    p.s. Thanks for letting me know about my blog. It's still broken - argh! But I hope to get it fixed soon. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess it's relative. The rooster isn't that bad, but 3 people where I live want to shoot him! Sorry to hear about your blog issues. I know some wordpress people who might be able to easily pinpoint it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this! I wish chickens would show up in my yard, they leave great fertilizer for the veggie plants! Oh and they eat bugs!

    Stopping by from #StoryDam

    Peace to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Morgan! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they make great fertilizer, and they eat the crab spiders we get at this time of year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. hahaha. I love this post, Courtney. You are pretty close to that slippery slope. Might as well give in to it. You know you want the chickens. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Comments are important to me, so mahalo for adding a comment! I will try to follow up when I receive one.