My Chicken-Lady Friend of Maui

In my space of the island of Maui, there’s a woman referred to as The Rooster Girl. She is an efficient buddy of mine. There are most likely a number of so-called hen girls right here, however I am speaking in regards to the one in Kihei.

Kihei is the Waikiki of Maui, roughly. There are subdivisions with homes and roads, however there are additionally many condominiums for vacationers. Amid all of the touristry-related outlets and condominium buildings, there are small segments of Kihei which have forests and meadows. These areas look pristine identical to within the days when Maui royalty and younger warriors walked this little spot of earth.

However right here in 2010, and for the previous a number of years, day-after-day at 5:00 p.m., my buddy drives alongside a decrease highway in Kihei and turns left onto a highway which title I shall not reveal, however I’ll say it runs parallel to — and between — Uwapo Highway and Kanani Highway. There’s forest on either side of this highway — as there are on most of the decrease roads in Kihei. The Black-Topped Night time Herons and the Hawaiian Stilt birds share the highest of the forest cover between nightfall and daybreak, however in the course of the day they fly to contemporary water ponds a number of blocks away. My buddy parks the place the forest begins on the precise shoulder of the highway going through the mountains — in different phrases, heading mauka. The Crimson Junglefowl reside right here and the opposite aspect of the highway, too. Crimson Junglefowl (gallus gallus) reside all through the island of Maui and the opposite Hawaiian Islands. They’re of the pheasant household and initially have been in India, Sri Lanka and southeastern Asia. They’ve now been on the Hawaiian Islands for hundreds of years They’ve been on the Hawaiian Islands for hundreds of years. The males are colourful with pink feathers on their heads and chest. The males have violet and turquoise tail feathers. The hens are numerous beige and brown shades which camouflage them properly.

It’s fairly a sight to see as she arrives, driving 15-20 miles per hour in her little pink automotive. The chickens and the chicks on the precise aspect of the highway see her coming, in order that they begin to run ahead to fulfill her. She has to drive previous them after which swerve to the precise shoulder so she would not run down the thirsty, hungry little chicks or their moms. There could be an an identical pink automotive forward of her by two blocks earlier than she arrives, but the chickens simply stand there and wait. They know the distinctive sound of her automotive. Once they see her automotive a block away and confirm to themselves that it is her automotive engine they’re listening to, they and their little chicks run ahead. The roosters hold again and watch.

Folks drive by and a few give a cheer for the racing hens and the little chicks. Random male drivers in pick-up vans velocity by, some hanging on to their steering wheels with a proper elbow and a proper wrist, their heads caught at a bizarre angle out the driving force’s door window, obscenities spewing from their mouths after which they yell, “Loopy Rooster Girl.” Evidently the weirdest males on Maui have one thing towards the survival of the Junglefowl. Additionally they seem to intensely dislike any middle-aged lady in a dishevelled, feeding-the-chickens-kine gown and hair up in a bun or possibly it is simply this one middle-aged lady they dislike. My buddy ignores the cheers and the jeers.

She has advised her pals — after they have requested — that she primarily goes to put contemporary water in containers for the fowl as a result of they’re thirsty. As quickly as she pours the water, they run to get their first sips of water for the day. She is aware of that Junglefowl can forage bugs from the forest’s ground, however she feels sorry for the chickens, chicks and roosters if they do not have water on this humid, scorching climate. And, she causes, since she’s there anyway, she would possibly as properly throw somewhat hen scratch their means.

She needs to be agile when she arrives. She stops the automotive and really shortly pulls the lever beside the driving force’s seat to open the trunk. She grabs her gallon-size jug of water sitting within the passenger’s seat, leaps out of the automotive, runs to the again of the automotive, throws the trunk door up, scoops out a bowlful of hen scratch, throws the contents to the fowl to her proper, then refills the bowl and jogs throughout the road with hen scratch in a single hand and a heavy jug of water within the different. That is the way it all goes when every part goes proper.

If there’s visitors coming, she will be able to’t cross, so she has to yell on the chickens and roosters throughout the road to remain there. They’re fairly miffed that the chickens on the precise aspect of the highway at all times get fed first. There are often little chicks to feed on the precise aspect of the highway and if the mom hens do not get fed quick, they run in direction of the center of the highway with their broods squeaking and peep-peeping shut behind.

There’s one rooster on the left aspect of the highway that somebody dropped there just lately and he won’t wait an additional second if my buddy cannot jog instantly throughout the highway. This rooster isn’t a Junglefowl. He’s some form of mainland selection and really intent on being the primary one she greets. Typically, my buddy has to cease visitors by placing her arm and hand up within the air so she will be able to get to the opposite aspect in a short time because the rooster is already half means throughout. As soon as she will get to the opposite aspect, he follows her there and tries to get in entrance of her to beg to be petted. She would not pet him. She throws hen scratch for him, however he ignores it at first and follows her as she rinses water bowls, refills the water bowls and throws hen scratch for the ready fowl. These, then, are the methods and easy methods my buddy makes use of to feed and water the Junglefowl in her little nook of Maui: Give them water, give them somewhat meals and provides them kindness for the quick time they’re able to get pleasure from life. And do no matter could be achieved to guard them from the roadway they selected to reside beside lengthy earlier than she arrived on Maui. Towards this objective, she locations the water bowls and hen scratch by means of the tall fence to the forest aspect.

For some purpose, there’s hardly ever a chick to be seen on the left aspect of the highway, though currently there was one. It is tough to say why the chicks on the left aspect of the highway do not survive a couple of or two days, however the chicks on the precise aspect of the highway do.

Teenaged Junglefowl roosters go lacking from both aspect of the highway each as soon as in awhile, too. There are greater than 30 cats on either side of the highway who’re fed by their colony caretakers, a person and spouse group, each night time after darkish. However there are different predators within the forest additionally. They’re males and their sons who set snares each month or two to catch younger roosters and take them residence. These males elevate younger roosters to maturity to allow them to place the defenseless birds in rooster fights. With the snares the lads set, they often inadvertently catch hens and chicks. They allow them to go, most certainly, after they come for his or her snared younger male birds. Sadly, many cats have been caught within the plastic fishing-reel string, too. Many of the cats die from hunger and struggling. I do know of 1 cat that chewed its paw off and was discovered by a cat caretaker, checked out on the Maui Humane Society and given a clear invoice of well being. That is a uncommon completely happy story within the forests of snared victims.

There are additionally situations the place mothers and dads go into the forests collectively and handle to catch or web a couple of younger hens for the sake of taking them residence to affix their yard hens and ruling rooster. There’s poverty on Maui, so that is an comprehensible self-sustaining determination of a household and I do not suppose individuals are predators who merely wish to feed their households by gaining a couple of extra laying hens.

However the males who arrive of their massive pick-up vans with their younger, impressionable sons and screech their tires, leaving, when my buddy arrives; these are the folks I name predators. The police on Maui can simply see who these rooster-fighting males are as a result of they’ve blue barrels arrange of their yards with roosters chained beside the upside-down blue barrels. If there’s one household on Maui who has this sort of set-up and they’re really simply elevating roosters for the aim of promoting them to individuals who elevate hens, I apologize prematurely. This can be the case in some few situations all through the islands and they’re exempted from the outline I give now. There’s not a selected ethnicity right here within the Hawaiian Islands that consider it’s their cultures’s proper — as Georgie Fong of Haiku places it — to enslave, imprison and kill the roosters; no, there are various who consider it’s their proper. After all, not all folks inside these ethnicities are supportive of rooster combating. I do not know of any surveys to indicate if the supporters of rooster-fighting in every ethnicity are the minority or whether or not they’re the bulk. If such surveys have been achieved, I wish to be taught the outcomes of such surveys.


Bets are made behind the scenes. The place of the following rooster-fighting occasion is deliberate. What number of law enforcement officials within the Maui Police Division know in regards to the occasion forward of time and select to not attend and to not arrest these concerned, however as an alternative flip a blind eye? I have no idea. What number of law enforcement officials within the Maui Police Division (and different police departments throughout the Hawaiian Islands) make bets themselves on this so-called sport? I have no idea. I hope the reply is none. However the occasions are held often. Two roosters are drugged right into a state of aggression. Razor blades are strapped on to their legs and they’re pressured to start their struggle to the loss of life. That is pure, unadulterated cruelty to animals. Additionally, it’s negligence of oldsters to youngsters if a few of these mother and father really take their youngsters or youngsters to the rooster-fights. However that latter assertion could solely be my opinion. The previous assertion isn’t opinion. Cockfighting is a misdemeanor underneath Hawaii State Legislation, punishable by a most high quality of $2000 and one yr in jail.

In April of this yr, a decision was handed (HCR277) which helps cockfighting as a cultural exercise. The decision was launched by three representatives stating that cockfighting is a nationwide sport within the Philippines and a “cherished custom in lots of cultures all through the world.” There was nice opposition by animal teams to the decision. The Maui Humane Society’s spokesperson, as an example, acknowledged that cockfighting isn’t cultural and is a merciless crime. It’s exhausting to consider that the decision was handed, however it was — because of the Home Tourism, Tradition and Worldwide Affairs Committee’s consideration.

The decision doesn’t give any particular person in Hawaii any authorized proper to hold out this cruelty. Cockfighting remains to be unlawful right here on Maui and all through the Hawaiian Islands.

The opposite day on the airport as I used to be boarding a airplane, the again of a person’s T-shirt caught my eye. There was a picture of a phenomenal rooster silkscreened onto the T-shirt. The wording stated, “Cockfighting is NOT unlawful. It is our tradition.”


My buddy feels the least she will be able to do is give the Junglefowl some water and meals each night earlier than sundown, so she places up with the verbal abuse. If she is ever spat upon — and she or he figures that is most likely going to be the following section — she says her technique then can be to make her ‘hen run’ an early morning errand as an alternative of a day delight. She needs she might do extra.

Copyright owned by Pamela Ok. Williams

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