Chicken Dreams: The Heart is a Hungry Hunter

Star Moon has a big problem. His heart is beating hard and fast as I hold him and he is struggling to break free. He wants at them, he wants to strike quickly and effectively and make his mark. He doesn’t care who he hurts. Chicken puberty is wrecking his life.

Star, the chicken I once described as the resident zen master of the coop has not only lost his zen but his mind in his zeal to reproduce. Star Moon is looking more like a cautionary tale than Romeo and virtually no one can talk sense into him.

His approach needs serious work. He chases the hens, then when they resist he grabs them by the back of the neck and beats them. If they still fight him off he bullies them by pushing them away from the food dish. It’s a nasty business but I’ve known him nearly since his hatch day and I know underneath his neanderthal ways he’s a good guy, just deeply confused.

The super suave head rooster, Happy, has pulled him aside for rooster to rooster talks but to no avail. Happy has even demonstrated the drop wing, super flirty over the shoulder come hither look which makes the girls swoon combined with the walk away of “later baby” unapproachable hot guy technique which has every hen in the coop mad for Happy. Star Moon won’t have any part of it.

He seems to think that one day he’ll come flying at the ever militant and edgy Rosey or the so very gorgeous little Henny Penny and they’ll cave in to his wishes. It aint happening. Even Stars sisters, who don’t mate with a brother (disgusting, not chicken behavior at all) are starting to shun him out of shear shame. They surround their hen friends and turn their backs on their nest mate and brother.

Oh the heartbreak.

Most of the time I would have no sympathy, but I’ve seen Star Moon go from being a handsome cowboy of a chicken with his tall and slightly bow legged strut and quiet guy manners to becoming a bullying bore who is interested in just one thing.

I feel his confusion and passion knowing it’s not who he really is but he’s being tricked by nature which is screaming in his ears; “Make baby chicks. Do it now!”

I’m watching to see how this gets settled.

So far what I see is a community of chickens working through it. They are doing some monitoring, some avoiding, some shunning, some protecting and displaying more patience than any human community I can imagine.  It’s as if they are committed to getting everyone through without injury or turning Star Moon into a juvenile delinquent. I’m taking their lead.

Normally I would consider isolating the poor guy until he grows out of it. But, what if he doesn’t?

No, chicken wisdom says he must learn now that his bullying ways don’t work. He is lucky to have a wise head rooster who patiently shows him the ropes however many times it takes. He is also fortunate to be in a coop with three of his natural born sisters who, when all else fails, circle around him and calm his fevered pitch until his heart rate drops and he realizes the error of his ways.

Rosey and Henny Penny are fed up with his last guy in the bar determined to get their digits ways but they are running, yelling, kicking and then taking him back when he is sorry, which he always is.

In watching the plight of Star Moon I’m given new insight. Even really good creatures with careful hearts and thoughtful ways can get lost in life and caught up in a force beyond understanding.  When that happens it’s good to be with those who really know you and are willing to wait until your dust settles.

When I left this morning that’s where Star Moon was, literally, in a pile of dusty dirt in the corner pondering how he was going to crawl his way back into better favor. His coop mates scattered about sweetly doing the work of chickens waited for him knowing he would figure it out. They have unshakable faith in him.

If given the chance most any chicken will find kind and compassionate action. Sometimes it just takes non violent, non compliance to show him the way of the peaceful chicken.

Star Moon will get there and when he arrives he will not be alone.




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