I’d been toying with the idea of a post about our chickens. A discussion with Toku today cemented the idea. You see, we have a chicken facing the same issue as us…
Background note: Toku and I live in a small cottage on a large piece of land that my parents also live on. There are extensive permaculture gardens surrounding our whare (house), and free ranging chickens.
We have two hens at present. Both named Patch. They were named by my father, (a man possibly unequalled in his swearing – he was a commercial fisherman for most of his working life), after the original chicken who was called Patch. Although that turned out not to be her name at all. She’d arrived in a box with the name ‘Patch’ painted on it, so the assumption was that was her name. It turned out it was the name of the stuffed toy dog that the owners daughter had made the ‘kennel’ for… anyway, Patch is now dead. Koro (my dad), the full on carnivore decided to bury rather than eat her as she was his favourite – he’s actually a big softie.
Back when the two new chickens were added, Koro decided that to make things easier they should all be named Patch. So for quite a while we had 3 called Patch simultaneously. Since it was my dad’s idea, I suppose it’s lucky they weren’t all named F*****g Patch. But then that would have become very long as they already need additional descriptors as it is – e.g Black Patch, Blacky Browny Patch, First Patch, Original Patch, Young Patch, Houdini Patch, Stupid Patch etc. You can add in your choice of the derivatives of the word f*****g, where you wish, to their names.
Anyway, I transgress. Even though you are undoubtedly charmed by this description of our idyllic slice of rural life, you are possibly beginning to wonder how this relates to my blog…
Here’s where our worlds intersect.
Black Patch is a transitioning FTM. Yes, as in Female To Male. Not to say that Toku or I are FTM (or even in anyway male identified – although wifey mainly wears the pants hehe), but the fact remains that Black Patch has become rather butch and potentially could be identifying as lesbian. How on earth do we know this you may ask? No we don’t have hidden cameras in their boudoir (birdoir?). Nor have I taken up bird watching to the extent that I try and witness every moment of their daily rituals. Oh no, it’s something simpler than that…Black Patch has begun crowing – in the morning (rooster early) and when she lays an egg – the gender bending hen that she is! Not the loud cluck clucking when a straight hen lays an egg – but what started as a gurgling choking kind of a crow, (like a young teenage boys voice breaking), which has now graduated to a full crowing. Her 6am crowing is just that – she cock-a-doodle-doos like the best of them. This has made her very unpopular, but she has remained alive thus far as she is still laying eggs. The day that ceases though I imagine she’ll be headed for the pot. (Not mine!) So Black Patch has a new name – she is The Chrooster. To Toku’s brother, Manaaki, she is the Cock-a-hen.
As a side note, I’ve been most impressed with my fathers tact. He is renowned for saying exceedingly rude things without thinking, anything for a laugh. In fact at our wedding after all the ‘talkings to’ he received in relation to his words as father of the bride, he felt so censored that most of his speech consisted of him saying “Bleep, bleep, bleep”. (See picture below.)
I keep expecting him to draw analogies between the dark coloured hen and the light coloured hen, one turning ‘male’, etc etc…but so far so good!
However the trans-formation of Black Patch alone wasn’t enough to warrant a whole post, it’s actually Young Patch who had me feeling there was a parallel especially worth mentioning. You see, she’s gone clucky. Awwwwww, just like us.
I don’t know if it is just a natural transition for all young hens to go through, or if it’s been late night trysts with Chrooster that have her convinced she’s up the duff. Either way she has been languishing in her nesting box for days – hoping and praying that her wish for a miracle conception for her and her lesbian love is granted. This has been, thus far, to no avail. However, her prayers are to be answered. The Oldies, (who aren’t that old but it has a nice ring), decided to get her 2 fertilised eggs and put them underneath her tonight. So very soon, our wee lesbian hen family will have chicks of their own. I see it as a nice metaphor for us and hope it’s a good omen.
As long as none of us hatch a bloody rooster!
Update: To see a video of her live in action read Chrooster is a Funky Chicken
Note: Hi there readers from Stirrup Queens Creme de la Creme 2012. If I had’ve submitted my choice a week or so later I probably would have chosen the post Sweet Dreams instead of this one. So go check that out too and tel me which one you prefer…