For those of you who have visited the shop in Jandakot in the past, when it was known as Backyard Aquaponics, or indeed visited since we have taken over the retail side of things, will know that we have several chicken coups down the back that house five hens, three chicks and two roosters. Now, I’m unsure if this is just a girl thing but practically all of these chickens have been named except for one chick, which I’m fairly certain ensures that they will all die from old age as a consequence. On the 14/12 , I, in my infinite wisdom decided to let all of the chickens out to free range at the same time. Unbeknown to me, the two roosters Jock and Hamish came to blows with what would ultimately be quite a nasty outcome. I suspect it was over the girls, as history has proven that us chicky babes can cause quite a few problems when it comes to the male gender.
JOCK JOCK WITH HIS GIRLS
A bloodied Hamish was found battered and bruised around two in the afternoon, and Jock had made his way into Hamish’s pen, and was no doubt feeling somewhat victorious. He seemed quite happy to lay still whilst Sue cleaned the blood from his head and comb. After some assessment, Sue considered that his wounds were mostly superficial and as he was walking around, she figured that he would be fine. We asked Joel to check him on the Monday and he said he was okay, if not feeling a little sore and sorry for himself. Sue checked again on the Tuesday and pretty much ascertained that Joel’s assessment was correct, as he hadn’t really changed, condition wise. However, when we returned to work on Wednesday poor old Hamish was sitting in Jock’s pen with a gaping hole in his head that was riddled with maggots.
Due to Sue’s background in nursing, she immediately set about flushing the wound in an effort to remove all of the wiggly little little buggers, however, there were plenty more still embedded deeply in the wound. After some discussion, it was decided that a trip to the vet was the way to go. I was initially keen to take him to Cheidy’s regular vet in Baldivis, but it seemed that just going around the corner to a vet in Jandakot was more practical. They were very prompt in examining him, and decided that because of the area the wound was in, it would be better if he saw a Bird Specialist in Balcatta, and the estimated cost would be, now wait for it………….$750.00. * cue EYE ROLL from the fella’s who would say, just wring it’s neck* Although the Jandakot vet was very attentive, I decided that Baldivis vet was the GO.
YAY, Dr Dan is on duty and he knows his stuff when it comes to chickens. Soooooooo, 5 staples in his head, oral antibiotics, manuka ointment for the wound and comb, and antibiotic eye ointment too, as Jock had apparently scratched his eye as well. Now the nurse had clear instructions when I picked him up, and it’s ” you must keep the flies away from the gash on his head and return in 10 days to have the staples removed” to which I reply confidently,” yep, ok, no worries”.
Now I’m in the car park, scratching my head about how I’m going to keep the flies off, and my NO worries has turned to worried. Option 1, take him home and put him in the laundry. Option 2, take him home and put him in the laundry. Ok, now I had to narrow this down, and so I had to go with option 1. Alright, I admit it, there were no options.
Fortunately, this was going to coincide just nicely with the closing of the shop over the xmas break, and so I could be there to supervise his healing.
POOR HAMISH, BUNG EYE STAPLES IN HEAD
Day one of recuperation, the crowing started at 0420 and there goes any chance of a sleep in, as I am up trying to encourage him to keep his beak shut whilst I contradict that statement by trying to get his beak open so that he can take his antibiotic tablets. He is quite cooperative with all the other interventions, but initially the tablet is a little tricky. I supervise him as he is still a bit unsteady from the sedative, and he then proceeds to do a nose dive into the pond whilst trying to get a drink. (Reminds me of the time my sister asked me to supervise her toddler whilst he was in his walker, but that’s another story.) The crowing goes on periodically throughout the day, but for the most part it’s not too bad, and I’ve managed to keep the flies off, NO worries.
Day two and the crowing starts at 0430, so I got an extra 10 minutes sleep in. Outside he goes again, around 10 ish, as I figured that most people would be at work by then.
Day three and he’s letting rip at 0415. This guy seems to have a fifteen minute window. I have a girlfriend down from Point Samson and so far she seems to be sleeping right through it. God knows how, as her room is right next to the laundry, but I suspect it maybe the 40 thousand ciders that she had consumed the previous evening that may have proved helpful to her state of unconsciousness.
Day four and he’s cranking up at 0420. I take him outside at the usual time, and whilst I supervise him, I resign myself to the fact that I won’t be sleeping in at all and that kind of brings a little tear to my eye. I learn later that day, that my girlfriend Gail, is now hearing him crow and is less than impressed.
Day four and I can only assume that Hamish had a good nights sleep, because he’s up early this morning and his lungs are in fine form. Yeah that’s right, it’s 0400. Usual routine throughout the day, except now he’s spotted the chicky babes in the pen, and wants desperately to introduce himself, and so into the pen he goes. He’s dancing up a storm for the girls, in which some scenes are reminiscent of Elaine’s dance moves from one particular episode of Seinfeld, and he has me mesmerised too and keen to keep on watching the show.
What I have failed to mention so far, is that the majority of my worry/anxiety I had was from the fact that I was taking this very strapping Rhode Island rooster named Hamish into suburbia, knowing full well that this is a very big no no when one should be considering the neighbours. So, it is with great anxiety that I lay in bed on those mornings, cringing every time Hamish would start crowing.
By day six, Hamish is on the bandwagon just at 0350, my girlfriend Gail, all of a sudden can hear Hamish’s call and is going off and threatening to call KFC, and I have visions of the neighbours rallying together to root out the source of the crowing, and be standing at the base of the driveway at 0400 with torches ablaze chanting, BURN THE WITCH!!!!!!!
I have a very lovely lady neighbour who’s name is Margaret, and she lives on the opposite side of the road, just two doors up. Now, she is a far better neighbour than I, as she constantly converses with the neighbours and she’s an ex farm girl herself, and therefore knows the drill when it comes to chickens. I asked her to keep her ears open for noise levels, and if any of the neighbours mentioned our boy Hamish (with the lung expansion of the Hindenburg), could she possibly let them know of the circumstances and that it was only temporary.
Happy to announce that ten days later and a trip to the vet, Hamish had his staples removed and was again very cooperative. They were happy with the healing and we were happy to return the super stud to his harem, and to show Jock that he was still standing, had been eating like a king and indeed had managed to score himself a couple of young chicky babes named Ave and Plumas.
So I would say that with all the special treatment that Hamish received at home, including the fine food and luxury accommodation in the laundry and spending his days with a couple of sexy virgins, it was well worth the injuries sustained, and he would indeed consider himself THE COCKIEST!
By the way, there were no sleep-ins over the Christmas break(I suspect for anyone within a 5km radius)!!!