🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Kentucky, my pet Rooster

Hope is a thing with feathers. 
That perches in the soul. 
And sings the tunes without the words. 
And never stops at all. 
- Verse from Emily Dickinson poem 

Watercolour on Bockingford

Besides my love for all animals, and for birds in particular, my love affair with chickens started in the late 70’s, when we bought our first smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) and, of course, the first thing anybody on a smallholding does, is get chickens, ducks and geese!

After a couple of months of settling in on our new smallholding, I was given some Bantam chickens by a neighbour, and there was a mad scramble to erect some chicken coups. They were prolific little breeders and soon the yard was full of mothers with little chicks , all running like mad for a tit-bit when they see me.

One newly-hatched little fellow, however, seemed not to be able to keep up with the rest, so I duly ‘rescued’ him, carrying him around in a basket and feeding him at every opportunity. The result was Kentucky, the most beautiful specimen of a rooster I had ever seen, with bright, coppery feathers adorning his neck and the most beautiful blue, black and burgundy tail feathers a rooster could wish for! Although he ruled his chosen hens with an iron claw, he always was a bit of a loner, spending hours following me around, hens in tow, or roosting on the back of the couch in the lounge (with lots of newspapers on the floor!)

He spent many years with me, preferring to roost in the tree outside my bedroom window, in stead of the chicken coup with the rest, and my heart was broken when I went out one morning and found part of him under the tree, half eaten, killed by a Genet during the night. But he lives in my heart forever and I’m sure he’s still watching over me from chicken heaven.

My apologies that I haven't got any photographs, but this was in the days before I had a computer, wasn't much into photography and, of course, wasn't blogging yet!



  1. Maree, I enjoyed your story about Kentucky, and the beginning of your affair with chickens.

    1. thanks ever so much Kathryn, appreciate each of your visits!



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