In my area of the island of Maui, there is a lady known as The Chicken Lady. She is a good friend of mine. There are probably several so-called chicken ladies here, but I’m talking about the Kihei one.
Kihei is the Waikiki of Maui, more or less. There are subdivisions with houses and roads, but there are also many condominiums for tourists. Amid all the tourism-related shops and condo buildings, there are small segments of Kihei that have forests and meadows. These areas look pristine just like the days when Maui royalty and young warriors walked this little place on earth.
But here in 2010, and for the last several years, every day at 5:00 p.m. M., My friend drives down a lower road in Kihei and turns left onto a road whose name I will not divulge, but I will say that it runs parallel to – and between – Uwapo Road and Kanani Road. There are forests on either side of this road, as on many of the lower roads in Kihei. Black-crowned night herons and Hawaiian wading birds share the upper part of the forest canopy between dusk and dawn, but during the day they fly to freshwater ponds several blocks away. My friend parks where the forest begins on the right side of the road that faces the mountains, in other words, in the direction of Mauka. The Red Junglefowl lives here and also across the road. Red Junglefowl (gallus gallus) lives throughout the island of Maui and the other Hawaiian islands. They are from the pheasant family and were originally in India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Now they have been in the Hawaiian Islands for centuries. They have been in the Hawaiian Islands for centuries. Males are colorful with red feathers on the head and chest. Males have purple and turquoise tail feathers. The chickens are of various shades of beige and brown that camouflage them well.
It’s quite a sight to see when he arrives, driving 15-20 miles per hour in his little red car. The hens and chicks on the right side of the road see her coming, so they start running towards her. You have to walk past them and then turn to the right shoulder so as not to run for the thirsty and hungry chicks or their mothers. There may be an identical red car in front of her two blocks before she arrives, however the chickens stay there and wait. They know the unique sound of your car. When they see their car from a block away and prove to themselves that it is their car’s engine that they are hearing, they and their chicks run forward. The roosters stay behind and watch.
People drive by and some cheer on the racing hens and chicks. Random male drivers in pickup trucks zoom by, some dangling from the steering wheel with their right elbow and right wrist, their heads stuck at an odd angle through the driver’s door window, obscenities coming out of their mouths, and then yelling: “Crazy Chicken Lady”. It seems like the strangest men on Maui have something against Junglefowl’s survival. They also seem to intensely dislike any middle-aged woman in a baggy suckling chicken dress and hair in a bun or maybe it’s just this middle-aged woman they don’t like. My friend ignores the cheers and teasing.
She has told her friends, when they have asked her, that she is mainly going to put fresh water in containers for the birds because they are thirsty. As soon as she pours the water, they run to take their first sips of water of the day. She knows that Junglefowl can pierce insects from the forest floor, but feels sorry for chickens, chicks, and roosters if they don’t have water in this hot, humid climate. And, he reasons, since she’s there anyway, she might as well throw a little chicken scratch at them.
It has to be agile when it arrives. He stops the car and very quickly pulls the lever next to the driver’s seat to open the trunk. Grab his gallon-size jug of water from the passenger seat, jump out of the car, run to the back of the car, lift the trunk door, pull out a bowl full of scraped chicken, toss the contents to the birds. he stops to the right, then refills the bowl and trots across the street with chicken in one hand and a heavy jug of water in the other. This is how everything works when everything is going well.
If traffic is coming, you can’t cross, so you have to yell at the chickens and roosters on the other side of the street to stay there. They are quite upset because the chickens on the right side of the road always feed first. Usually there are chicks to feed on the right side of the road and if the hens don’t feed quickly they run to the middle of the road with their young squealing and looking closely.
There’s a rooster on the left side of the road that someone dropped there recently and it won’t wait another second if my friend can’t immediately trot across the street. This rooster is not a Junglefowl. He’s kind of a continental variety and he’s very determined to be the first to greet. Often my friend has to stop traffic by raising her arm and hand in the air in order to get to the other side very quickly, since the rooster is already halfway there. Once she reaches the other side, he follows her there and tries to get in front of her to beg her to caress her. She doesn’t pet him. She throws scraped chicken at him, but he ignores it at first and follows her as she rinses the water bowls, refills the water bowls, and tosses the scraped chicken for the waiting birds. These, then, are the simple techniques and strategies my friend uses to feed and water the jungle birds in her little corner of Maui: give them water, give them some food, and give them kindness for the little time they can enjoy. of the life. And do everything you can to protect them from the road they chose to live by long before she came to Maui. For this purpose, place the water bowls and chicken through the tall fence to the forest side.
For whatever reason, a chick is rarely seen on the left side of the road, although there has been one lately. It’s hard to say why the chicks on the left side of the road don’t survive for more than a day or two, but the chicks on the right side do.
Junglefowl’s teenage roosters also disappear from both sides of the road from time to time. There are more than 30 cats on each side of the road that are fed by the colony keepers, a husband and wife team, every night after dark. But there are also other predators in the forest. They are men and their children who set traps every month or two to catch young roosters and take them home. These men raise young roosters to adulthood so that they can place defenseless birds in cockfights. With the traps that men set, they sometimes inadvertently catch chickens and chicks. They will most likely let them go when they come for their trapped young male birds. Unfortunately, many cats have also been caught in the plastic rope of the fishing reel. Most cats die of hunger and suffering. I know of a cat that bit its paw and was found by a cat sitter, examined at the Maui Humane Society, and received a certificate of good health. That’s a rare happy story in the woods of trapped victims.
There are also cases where moms and dads go into the woods together and manage to catch or catch some young chickens in order to take them home to join their backyard chickens and the ruling rooster. There is poverty in Maui so this is an understandable and self-sufficient family decision and I don’t think people are predators who just want to feed their families by earning a few more laying hens.
But the men who arrive in their big trucks with their impressionable young children and squeak their tires, they leave, when my friend arrives; These are the people I call predators. Maui police can easily see who these men are fighting roosters because they have blue barrels placed in their yards with roosters chained next to the inverted blue barrels. If there is a family in Maui that has this type of setup and is actually only raising roosters for the purpose of selling them to people who raise chickens, I apologize in advance. This may be the case in some cases on the islands and they are exempt from the description I now give. There is no particular ethnic group here in the Hawaiian Islands who believe that their cultures have the right – as Georgie Fong of Haiku says – to enslave, imprison and kill roosters; no, there are many who believe that it is their right. Of course, not all people within those ethnic groups support cockfighting. I do not know of any survey that shows whether the supporters of cockfighting in each ethnic group are the minority or if they are the majority. If such surveys have been conducted, I would like to know the results of those surveys.
And what about this cockfight?
Bets are made behind the scenes. The venue for the next cockfighting event is planned. How many police officers from the Maui Police Department know about the event in advance and decide not to attend and not arrest those involved, but to turn a blind eye? I do not know. How many police officers from the Maui Police Department (and other Hawaiian Islands police departments) make bets on this so-called sport? I do not know. I hope the answer is none. But events take place regularly. Two roosters are drugged in a state of aggression. Razor blades are tied to their legs and they are forced to begin their fight to the death. This is pure and unadulterated cruelty to animals. Furthermore, it is the negligence of the parents towards the children if some of these parents actually take their children or teenagers to cockfighting. But that last statement may just be my opinion. The first statement is not an opinion. Cockfighting is a misdemeanor under Hawaii state law, punishable by a maximum fine of $ 2,000 and one year in prison.
In April of this year, a resolution (HCR277) was approved that supports cockfighting as a cultural activity. The resolution was introduced by three representatives who claim that cockfighting is a national sport in the Philippines and a “tradition cherished in many cultures around the world.” There was great opposition from animal groups to the resolution. The spokesperson for the Maui Humane Society, for example, stated that cockfighting is not cultural and is a cruel crime. It is hard to believe that the resolution was passed, but it was due to the consideration of the House Committee on Tourism, Culture and International Affairs.
The resolution does not give any person in Hawaii any legal right to carry out this cruelty. Cockfighting is still illegal here on Maui and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
The other day at the airport, when I was getting on a plane, I was struck by the back of a men’s T-shirt. There was a picture of a beautiful rooster silk-screened on the shirt. The wording said: “Cockfighting is NOT illegal. It is our culture. “
My friend feels that the least she can do is give the Junglefowl food and water every night before sunset, so put up with the verbal abuse. If you’ve ever been spat on, and you think that’s probably the next phase, you say your strategy will be to make your “chicken coop” an early morning errand rather than an afternoon treat. I wish I could do more.
Copyright owned by Pamela K. Williams