By Diane Ako
There is a rooster and a bunch of hens who have taken up residence outside my house. This is cute, but annoying when I'm trying to sleep.
I don't live in the country, but you know lots of the Hawaiians Islands have issues with feral foul. And they've made their way to our area. *sigh*
I don't know why this rooster doesn't crow at 3 a.m. when I could use the help with waking up, but he's completely silent at that time. So un-useful.
However, he's crowing like there is no tomorrow at 1 p.m. when I'm trying to take my nap. Sometimes, he's disrupting the hens who seem to like the side of the house, so there's a lot of clucking.
The crazy crowing happens on the fence outside my bedroom. The hen-ravaging takes place on the side of the house under my other bedroom window. I cannot win.
I'm so exhausted I usually end up falling asleep with the help of headphones and music. I don't notice him/ them as much after the nap because there are humans to pay attention to in the late afternoon.
Then, however, when I go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. he's usually back at it with the crowing or harassing of the females. He irritates more than just me.
The neighbor's dog, Bailey, has taken to barking at the chickens when they make too much noise. Bailey has the same noise threshold as I do.
Then, because Bailey is barking, my dog Inca starts barking, just to make sure she isn't missing out on something. Then there are two barking dogs and a cacophonous flock to suffer through. Hens can make really weird noises, did you know?
Now and then if the chickens aren't smart, they forget and wander over to Inca's side of the house, and then I hear giant thudding footsteps of a 70 pound dog, and a screaming bird running for her life.
It's funny, actually. Inca never catches the chicken but it's a lot of feathers and commotion.
The other day I made the mistake of trying to yell at the rooster to get it to shut up. When that didn't work I clapped my hands at it thinking I might sound like intimidating fireworks (I'm a fool), but I think he just thought I was applauding his vocal talents. He kept going, completely unfazed.
I gave up and went to sleep, but then I heard my husband walk outside and throw water at it. That did the trick. For that one moment.
So, I don't know. It's kind of a foul problem. I think they're cute when I'm awake but I do not appreciate them when I'm trying to not be awake.
My husband says roosters are supposed to crow at first light - and he should know because he, like I, has been an urban dweller all his life. Claus suggests the rooster has jet lag. Do we have an Eastern seaboard bird? Does it need melatonin to readjust?
I think I'm going to have to stalk him a little to see where he roosts and then wake HIM up in the middle of his night - which apparently is 3 a.m. - to see how he likes it.
Any suggestions for having them get the flock out of here?