Friday, January 15, 2016

Where We Live: The Afternoon Chicken

So, we have chickens that live down the street.  

They're not exactly feral and they're not exactly domesticated.  They're somewhere in between.  They roam freely throughout the neighborhood, coming as close as the neighbor's property, but they go home to roost at night.  I am not certain whether the "owner" feeds them or not.  Certainly there's plenty to eat in Hawaii just in what grows by the side of the road and in the yards.  In fact, bird feeders are strongly discouraged as birds have enough to eat and the excess seed encourages rats and mongoose.

Hens lay eggs more or less daily.  Generally egg laying occurs in the morning, but it can happen anytime during daylight hours.  We have lots of hens in our neighborhood and they all pretty much lay their eggs in the morning -- except for one.

One hen likes to lay her egg in the afternoons.  
And she bitches about it.  Every.  Single. Time.  

You can just about set your watch by her.  The afternoon chicken goes on and on. Bitching and moaning about the task at hand.  We smile at each other in acknowledgement when its "Hen-thirty" and listen to her lay what must be the world's first square egg.

We seem to have a new clutch of chicks every few weeks.  I am not certain what's eating the chickens (maybe the owner) but we don't have a population explosion on our hands.  Rooster count is three or four.  I am very glad they live several houses away.  Just far enough to be pleasant, thankfully.  

This city girl always wanted chickens when she was growing up.  Every summer I went to sleep away camp at a ranch for two weeks.  One of my favorite memories is the sounds of the chickens in the lazy afternoons when we were supposed to be napping in the heat of the day.  Their "rrrrr  rrrrr rrrrrr-ing" noise is difficult to describe, but they comfort each other with the sound and it comforts me as well.  

We are in the city and the country at the same time.

It's one of the things I love about living in Hilo.

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