For the last while I’ve given over Saturday’s spot to guest contributors who present the humorous side of having chickens. This is the 11th episode of The Poultry Princess series, observations of the ups and downs of keeping poultry by Heide Royer.
The most infamous madam in the country shares the same name as I do, Heidi as in Heidi Fleiss, although I spell my name differently. I’ve always gone by my middle name, since Mari-Lena typically got slaughtered in some way by non-Spanish speaking people. I was teased growing up because I went by Heide, and of course with her constantly in the news at the time, it was always fresh on some kid’s lips.
I never knew that one day, I would have a revelation that I indeed run a brothel.
Travis, my boyfriend, is new to the chicken world and every day is a learning experience for him. I have one particular partridge Silkie that seems to be everyone’s favorite go-to-hen but she only has eyes for my Rhode Island Red rooster Scar, formerly known as Scarlett, who stays in my backyard. I find it odd how the roosters single her out every morning even though there are dozens of other hens to choose from. She’s my only Silkie girl. She’s small and dainty and apparently has a cloaca of gold.
Every morning when I let the birds out, she goes about 50 yards from her coop, and walks over to the fence so she can stare at Scar on the other side. It takes her about half an hour to get there since she has about eight roosters jumping on her. She does the standard chicken shuffle after the morning assault and keeps pushing on until she gets there. It would be easy for either one of them to fly over and actually be beak to beak, but instead they strut up and down the fence line. She clucks softly, coos, and pecks through the openings, and he does the rico suave wing dance and flaps his full, crimson wings.
I thought it would be fun to finally put them together, the forbidden flame of love extinguished, their story to be chicken scratched into the earth for two lifetimes over. I picked her up and started walking around to the gate. I could see Scar start to run in my direction like a gold medal inspired Usain Bolt for the finish line. I called for Travis to come watch this event, knowing that this was truly a once in a lifetime occurrence. A beautiful vision that would bond us as a couple. Love, cherish and make fond memories.
The moment I put my Silkie down onto the grass, Scar utterly destroyed her. What occurred was not the scene I had pictured in my mind from ‘When Harry Met Sally’, it was more like ‘Hostel’, ‘Saw’, and ‘This is Us’ all wrapped up in a seven second, chaotic, wings-a-going, chicken squawking, feathers flying, fright fest.
I turned around to look at Travis, horror filling in every line and wrinkle on my face like rivers of shame. His face was contorted in a manner that for a second I thought he had left his body and just told Jesus to take the wheel for what he just witnessed.
This was not going to bond us as a couple after all. Baking dark chocolate chip cow patties would have gone over easier than having him watch the violent manner in which chickens copulate. I know better, but for some reason I thought this would be different since they ‘courted’ for such a long time.
I immediately took the cigarettes out of their beaks and separated them back into their respective areas. Scar passed me a $50 bill and we called it a day.
Heide Royer is the artist behind Heidinmyworld of Art. Her creative passion lies within the animal world and is expressed through her visually compelling artwork. She is also an aspiring writer telling stories of her chicken farm life in a new book entitled “All Cooped Up – My Life with Chickens During A Pandemic”, filled with crazy antics and a lot of fowl play. It’s sure to bring laughter to any poultry loving household.
Thanks to Heide for once again sharing the stories from her flock, used with permission.
This reminds me of my first time seeing chickens mate. I was about 10 years old and I kept trying to separate them as I thought the rooster was trying to kill the little red hen. I was the one who needed medical care and my aunty explained what I had witnessed. I chose to feed the cockerels awaiting slaughter after that; having been caponized they were quieter.
I had a very naughty Roo that I finally had to send to freezer-camp – once he started attacking my mum it was game over! And he terrorized my poor silkies and the big girls faired no better.
Enter Mr P – my polish Roo, I really didn’t want a Roo, but he was being rehomed so I took him on. Seems he is at the opposite end of the spectrum, very quiet, no drama, doesn’t molest the hens, and awesome little fella. AND my little wee black silkie Marty LOVES him! Absolutely to the moon and back. They are so devoted to each other it’s so cute.
And she will defend him from all! One day I went to pick him up (he is a wild thing and I am trying to desensitize him to being handled so he isn’t constantly stressed when I trim his topknot!). Well he was screaming blooming murder, and in ran this wee black she-devil! She gave me a beating, wings, beak, feet – she weighs next to nothing, but she knocked me over! Between Mr P screaming, Marty wailing on me, and my swearing and thinking protect your eyes they always go for the eyes !! I was hard pressed to finally get up (still had the Roo yay!) and quiet everyone. But I learnt my lesson! Don’t mess with Marty’s man 🙂
(If I had known how much fun chickens were I would have got rid of the horses long ago!)
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