Saturday, 13 August 2011

how to rescue a chook

Photo:  Arvind Balamaran

During my walk at dusk last night I discovered, to my delight, a magnificent rooster strutting about a rubbish bin in the local park.  I wondered where the heck he’d come from because the closest house is about a kilometre away and there’s bush all around.  Upon closer inspection, I found another beautiful chook, already settled into a nice roost in the branches of some bushes about 5 feet off the ground nearby.

I get all excited when I find unexpected birds and animals.  Being outside on walks means I get to see this from time to time.  Like the time I discovered a baby snake, a flock of black cockatoos, a big green frog, a feisty bearded dragon lizard, or a baby frogmouth just left the nest.   So I was delighted to see the chooks in the park and thought about taking some food scraps or something to scatter on the ground for them to peck at.

Tonight on my walk at dusk, I arrived in the park looking for the chooks.  It was about the same time of day and I found a snugly roosting chook in the roosting tree.  I looked around for the rooster and to my horror, discovered chook feathers.  Lots of them.  Strewn on the ground a little way off. 

I was horrified.  Why didn’t I think about dogs in the park last night?  I should have called the RSPCA or something to come and collect them.  I feel partly responsible.  How awful.  I can’t express just how I react to things like this.  Once I saw a poor dead snake – a beautiful diamond python – which was obvious that a car had deliberately skidded over it to kill it.  This upsets me so much.  And I know it’s a dog’s nature to chase and kill birds.  Probably the same dog owner who let their dog do a big poo in the middle of the path and then didn’t bother picking it up.

So after making several unsuccessful attempts at finding an emergency animal rescue person, I decided to have a crack at chook rescue myself.  If the remaining chook is not removed to a safer location, then a dog will kill the remaining chook too.  I got the cat carry-box to put it in, loaded it in the back of the car and grabbed a towel to throw over the unsuspecting roosting chook. 

Unfortunately Meyles has been away for a few days and is not around to help me.  So I became a hopeful chook-rescuer myself.  By now it was dark and I turned the headlights on high beam to catch sight of the roosting bird.  As I got close I could see he had his head under his wing and if he wasn’t a bird I would’ve thought he was snoring!  But I was halfway through putting the towel over him when he woke up and with a start squarked and fluttered off and I was left without a hope of rescuing him.  Turns out it was the rooster.  It must’ve been the hen that died today.

Tune in for Part 2 of the story tomorrow night.  I have not completely finished with my efforts as chook rescuer yet.

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