Ferral chickens aren’t just a thing at Hale O Kauka Healing Garden, they are quit common place on Maui. I recently saw some roosting on the cart return at Target in town and in the evenings you will find many fly up high into the Banyan tree in Lahaina at dusk to roost, just about everywhere you go on island – you will find chickens.
Roosters are a reminder of ones uniqueness, ability to rise up and they are the totem of those who never give up. When a chicken shows up in your life, it is asking you to take the time for some internal evaluation. In other words, the Chicken meaning reminds you that you must scratch the surface of your emotions to see what lies underneath. As a place of meditation and healing, we feel very blessed that the wild and free chickens here on Maui feel very at home in our garden.
We should each ask ourself if we are responding to the circumstances around us from our heart. Or, on the other hand, is our head ruling and allowing things to overwhelm us with fear (chicken’s are associated with being afraid). Whenever we find ourself in this place, Chicken symbolism prompts us to take a step back.
Most of all, we love our chickens because this spirit animal inspires us to make sure that we are grounded. If you observe a chicken (as we do often) you will notice how focused they are on the earth, scratching and pecking around for a bug to snack on. They are very grounding to have in our space.
Funny thing here on Maui, the ferral cats are afraid of the chickens. The chickens are very confident here.
We currently have about four roosters on our property. The old white one, Featherbomb is his name. Two multi colored Roosters, Fancy Pants and his brother, Runner (up) and the newest addition to our micro farm, an all black rooster we call, Mysterious Character. Each of these gentlemen chase around the hens and father various clutches of chicks – their coloring when born is telling of their sire.
Roosters perform a call and response in the early morning hours that we can now identify to each rooster as his own unique call. The responses then come from neighboring farms – with similar sounding calls coming back. We believe these roosters are keeping in touch with their kin on other surrounding area farms in this way. Each family with the same sounding call – responds to let the others know they are still around. Fancy Pants and his brother have a similar call. It is different than Featherbomb or Mysterious Character’s call – they are not brothers. The early morning calls of a rooster (and they don’t reserve this just for morning and they certainly don’t wait for the sun to rise) can be quit ethereal, like calls of a banshee. Sometimes when I am awakened in the night, I have to remind myself what I’m hearing, nothing to be concerned about – just a Rooster, doing his thing.
At Hale O Kauka we have taken in several chicks who hatched with no mother hen around to look after them, keep them warm and show them the ways of a chicken. We built a coup to house these little hens who are now mid-sized poulets and nearly ready to lay eggs. We’ve also added a young hen to the coup who became injured and was in danger of being attacked by other wild chickens on our property – they tend to weed out the weakest in a survival of the fittest demonstration that is not for the faint of heart.
Outside the coup, we frequently are delighted to see a new clutch of free and wild baby chicks peeping behind their mother. We count them and sometimes we name them. Many will not survive in the ferral conditions here but some do and we witness their growth and observe their nature. They have a lot to teach us and they help prepare the land for growing and bring good energy to our space. One of the mother hens, whom our caretaker has been calling Penguin Baby Mamma, because all of her babies are colored like penguins – follows our caretaker around closely all day. She knows that when he is pulling out tree roots or leveling the land to build a gate or a walk path – he will un-earth some tasty centipides, cockroaches, ants or other similarly delicious treats. I think she likes how he scratches in the earth just like her and she really likes the stones and logs he is able to move about uncovering a smorgasborg of her favorite morsels. They have a simbiotic relationship he feeds her as a by product of his work and she takes care of the creepy crawlies that he is not so fond of.
Some guests are bothered by these clucking locals and have complained about the rooster calls – we observe those complaints too. It is interesting to see whose feathers get ruffled in this dance of life we have going on here at Hale O Kauka Healing Garden. The guests come and go, but the roosters and their families are here to stay.