So, as promised, I thought I would offer you the next instalment of the life and times of Kamwenge’s Fascinating Chickens (KFC). All things considered, their life seems to hold much more drama, intrigue and excitement than mine – in the past few months there has been bullying and intimidation, all out blood and guts cock fighting, an identity crisis and even a baby in the mix. The drama continues….
Life was going on well in this quiet backwater in rural Africa. I was continuing my study of the ways of this world through my chickens. But then, something changed…
Someone gave us a gift of a rooster (Davis’s family actually, see my blog here) as a gift. Now, ordinarily one would love the gift of a rooster. This is a photo of us receiving our rooster. Let’s call him Stud (oh, the irony).
So, Stud arrived home and joined the chooks and the other rooster owned by our neighbour. From the beginning, we were very nervous about this combination, as the other rooster (lets call him Terminator) seemed to be incredibly territorial and had intimidated the last 3 roosters that had come into the backyard until they were killed in an attempt to save them from a torturous painful death. We were obviously concerned that Stud, our new prized possession would meet the same fate.
Our suspicions were quickly confirmed. Terminator did not take long to seize up our rooster and pronounce him a threat.
Everyday the bulling grew worse, until one day Terminator and Stud began fighting on our front Verandah. Now, I know in other countries cock fighting is some sick form of entertainment. But this is Uganda, and I was both shocked and appalled by this archaic display of testosterone (I’m not sure if chickens have testosterone, but you get the picture) and was not happy to have an illegal cock fighting ring in our backyard. In a flurry of wings and combs and tails and growling-type noises I never knew cocks could make, the cocks began to fight it out to the death. I watched, shrieking, as Stud was brutally beaten. Several times, in an act of desperation he threw himself up against the glass door head first, desperate to be inside in the safe haven of our loungeroom. Blood splattered on the glass. (I would have posted a photo of the splattered blood but wanted this blog to remain G-rated.) Eventually, Michael and I did the very brave thing and called the neighbour’s boy to break up the fight. He separated them and tied up the mean one. A few days later, Terminator was given away.
My Stud was a wimp…
But I shouldn’t judge. Perhaps something tragic and horrible happened to Stud for him to be like he is.
But whatever the case, Stud has some serious issues. My husband’s professional doctor diagnosis was that Stud may actually be a hen, trapped in a rooster’s body. Other options are that he may be going through a simple identify crisis. This diagnosis is suspected for several reasons:
a) Stud’s attempt to fight the other cock back was hopeless. It was painfully pathetic to watch. Basically, he just crawled up into the foetal position (as much as is possible for a chicken) and wimpered. I don’t normally condone violence, but in this situation it was necessary for self defence; clearly Stud felt differently.
b) Stud cannot ‘crow’ like an ordinary rooster. Seriously. He gives this half-baked, much lower pitch ‘cock a doooooo’. That’s about all he can muster. Lately instead, we find him clucking like a hen.
c) Stud may have confusion about his species. His desperation to constantly be inside our house (following in the tradition of our other chickens) and his desperation to be around humans is concerning. Speaking with our neighbour the other day, she enquired ‘have I noticed how the rooster (Stud) always comes over to be with people when there is a conversation going on?’ She shares my theory, and we had a laugh…
But in case anyone is doubting his manhood – Stud has fathered a chick! It seems that not only are the local chickens much better at the business of survival, but also at preserving their species. They love to have baby chickens. This is a striking parallel to the fertility rate in Kamwenge – the average woman bares 7 children in her lifetime! (The Mzungu breed of chicken, on the other hand, refuses to sit on its eggs and rarely produce chicks.) Our baby chicken is SOOO cute and I spend long amounts of time gazing at it or taking unnecessary amounts of photos.
So here are some pictures of my new baby chicken:
Note: Regarding the house thing, Stud and I have come to an agreement. At the end of each day, he is too lazy to walk around the house to the backyard. When it starts to get dark he wants to enter the house. Why? To get to the other side! (haha) So now, if he doesn’t bother us the rest of the day, the deal is he can toddle through the house in the evening just on his way to his little home.
Quick update before publishing blog: My rooster, on its journey to the back yard, just POOPED sloppy diarrheoa poo all over my floor!! I think that terminates the agreement!!