We moved to Kamas just over 4 years ago following 1 year of “building” our house. We’ve never regretted the move, despite what may appear to some as living light years away from civilization. The Kamas Valley is home and I hope that never changes.
With living in a rural town there are certainly some allowances and things that happen here that you just shrug (or shake your head), smile and say, “Only in Kamas.” This is about one of those things.
This past summer we inherited some chickens and so began the saga of raising…er, putting up with chickens. First came the chicken coup, which took me a couple of months to complete in all that spare time I’ve got. After all, I couldn’t build just anything simple, it had to be complex. Sheesh.
Our little chicks grew up and became two nice white chickens, a hen and a rooster named Scooter (hen) and Pecky (rooster). Finally Scooter started to lay eggs which we enjoyed gathering up and eating. We even lost a few to Annapurna throwing them down when to her surprise her brother “caught” her picking them up from the coup.
Then one day I came home from work to find that the typical molting of feathers was an abundance of feathers. As I approached the door my neighbor Doug called out as he headed in my direction. The details were fuzzy but it included hunting dogs on the loose, big ruckus, feathers, dead chicken, guy pulling up in his truck, dogs in back, dead chicken on top and then speeding off. Hmmm…ok, so we were down to 1.
Fortunately the hen had survived and the owner of the dogs came back later that night to break the news to me. He promised to replace it and I asked if he would give us a hen vs. a new rooster to which he agreed. Better that than a call to the animal control officer.
Over time the new chicken never materialized and Scooter became more lonely, stopped laying eggs and started to wander. One Sunday as we left for church Scooter was doing her thing but when we returned she was nowhere to be found. To this day she has never turned up. Chicken-napped? Perhaps. Gone looking for love? Likely.
So we were out of the chicken business…for about 4 hours until a knock at the door produced our replacement chicken, a black and white hen that had some tail feathers missing but otherwise looked quite pretty. The kids named it Rocky. Our friends who have 30 or so chickens gave us a rooster named Spot so that Rocky would have a friend and mate so we were back in the chicken business with a pair.
It soon became evident that chickens and Kendall don’t have the same schedules. Kendall works late, Chickens like to talk to other chickens very early and with a few flocks in the neighborhood (after all, this is Kamas) it’s a chicken chorus. Then one day, Rocky our hen, cock-a-doodle-dooed?!? In reality, our hen was a rooster. No wonder Rocky wasn’t laying any eggs. So what to do with 2 roosters? We were encouraged to put them down and cook them for dinner. I’m too busy was a good excuse.
Then one day another dog, this time a husky, grabbed Spot and then there was one. The kids shed tears, feathers were spread about in the snow, evidence of a struggle and the fate of Spot.
Another few weeks passed with winter storms and frigid nights and Rocky grew more lonely and vocal, to the point of annoyance. But then it happened, a chicken miracle – Spot showed up, gimping and looking as dirty and dejected as a street bum. This was the turning point, the beginning of the end. Rocky, was likely ecstatic, but in his excitement became extremely protective and started to chase off anyone that would come near and peck them. What was once a skiddish chicken had become quite aggressive and bold.
After a couple of weeks of care, it was evident that Spot wouldn’t get better so when animal control came by to get a stray cat from our neighbor, we had them take Spot away. Then Rocky flipped out. He would cock-a-doodle-doo all day and all night as if calling for his long lost buddy Spot. He started chasing cars, yes, chasing cars and worse yet, chasing passing pedestrians, often kids or moms out for walks. Staring people down became his past time and preying on the unsuspecting ankles of those walking by.
It was then that the news came of 9-1-1 calls about an aggressive chicken, our very own Rocky, chasing and harassing people, even bike riders. The local police officer, who happens to live across the street, said that he had more calls about our chicken than anything else after which he said “Only in Kamas”. The writing was on the wall – Rocky’s days were numbered.
So farewell Rocky, your time has come. Even as I type I’m preparing for the end, but not with a hatchet as you might suspect. With the upcoming Turkey season and my recent adoption of hunting with a bow, I figured I could practice my skill and help the neighborhood and town return to the peaceful pace of life by shooting Rocky with my bow.
You guessed it, Only in Kamas.