29 May 2012


New chooks have arrived out the back. A gallimaufry of Galliformes, useless for anything but looking great.

I grew up with chooks and have met them all over the world: places like the Amazon, remote parts of Mongolia, the Himalaya, African towns, and my own back yard. Fowls, it seems to me, remain invisible until someone feels like chicken — even as egg producers they're seen as something other than the things they really are: birds.

I drove home the other day thinking about these new arrivals, and I thought, any place you can't keep chooks isn't a healthy place for humans. Think carefully about the logic of that.

[28 May 2012, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 188 mm, ISO 200, 1/80 at f4.8]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

So, they are actually canaries?

Birds love you, yes they do.

Me from Cali said...

Fair Game

A chook is a chicken
A chicken a chook
A pullet a hen
It ain’t no fluke
A rooster a cock
A cockerel cock-a-doodle-do
Even a capon that’s missing a few
Yardbirds every one
Junglefowl poultry
From clutch to chicks
To broiler, fryer, and even stew
And yolks and whites that taste good too
All fair game for me and you.

Relatively Retiring said...

Does it apply if you think, 'any place a chook can't live isn't healthy for humans?'
Unfortunately chickens can survive in some terrible man-made conditions, and I suppose the only place they really can't is underwater.
Our free-range opportunistic bantams made the most of garden and house - when the doors were open they often came in to roost under the kitchen table.
I miss them still. They were birds with attitude, but birds first and foremost.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, the feeling is mutual.

Paul, that's wonderful! Thanks :^D

RR, interesting thought. However, I was thinking mainly of the fallacy of denying the antecedent. My argument says, "If you can't keep chooks, then it's not a healthy place for humans"; however, if you can keep chooks, that does not mean the place is healthy for humans". Your example's perfect for demonstrating that fallacy, but I'm mainly thinking of the concrete jungle.

I had bantams like that in the '90s. Old English spangled game bantams. I found one nestled down in the bread bin one day, so left it there. It finally left of its own accord, leaving behind an egg. I also found an egg in one of my gumboots one day. I have no idea how it managed that — the feat seemed impossible — but I'm glad I found it before I put the boot on.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen is right - birds really REALLY love you!

leonie said...

We always had chooks when I was growing up and I find them hilarious. I wonder why humans chose those of all the birds to keep in cages and mass farm instead of any other.

We were given a little photo book about chickens by a friend.... there are some WEIRD looking fowls on this planet!

pohanginapete said...

RR, I like to think you and Zhoen are right, and the feeling's reciprocated :^)

Leonie, you're right about the weirdness of some chooks. I'll post another photograph of one of the recent arrivals shortly, in case anyone doesn't believe us ;^)