Some people have dogs for pets to guard their homes. My family and I have a chicken for a watch guard.
A guard chicken? Yes, a watch chicken. Not that we don’t have a dog; in fact we two dogs. One is a spitz mix who watches over the gate like a sentinel, and the other a fluffy white poodle who stays virtually inside the house. In between differences in personality, there is our guard chicken whom we simply call “Kokok”. How we got Kokok is a story in itself.
How it all began
My kid got Kokok during a town fiesta more than three years ago. LJ won it as a raffle prize from a vendor. This vendor sold colorful baby chicks in a make-shift coop he carried around everywhere. The Angry Birds—these colorful birds who toppled down pigs—were such a hit then, so every kid want to pet live chicks whose dainty feathers were colored to appear like the Angry Birds of the digital game fame.
LJ got Kokok in a small wire mesh fashioned into a cage, looking all girly in pink. Despite my refusals to have any more live creatures inside the house, LJ persisted. Eventually I relented. All of kids’ playmates also had their own baby chicks to take home, but for some reason we went home that evening taking home 4 baby chicks in assorted colors. LJ’s uncle gave him a bird-cage. Because I never had any prior experience caring for chickens, my mother-in-law encouraged us to release the chicks from the cage every morning as they were fed.
Not your ordinary chicken
Any person who has played with chickens will tell you that when you try to get near a clutch of chicks, it scampers in all directions. Imagine having chicks at the lawn, with a dog chasing after them! Crazy! My kid loved chasing after them.
Among the four, there was only one baby chick that never ran so much as the rest. When we placed our feet beside the chick, it never budged an inch. It was almost as if it wanted to be lifted by any one of us. It was LJ’s pink chick. Because of this, we held it every time in our palm. Every evening, we “herded” the chicks back to the cage, except Kokok which calmly teetered back to its designated home. This we noticed early on.
And then there was one
A storm hit the country one time and bashed the area which we lived. We placed the cage at the lawn beneath a covered area. Still however, the strong winds and rains struck the cage despite our efforts to protect the cage with plastic. By morning, the blue and orange chicks were gone. Only Kokok and the green chick survived.
Wherever one of the chicks went, the other one also followed. In a few weeks time, the chicks outgrew their color and started to have new feathers. The lawn was getting smaller for the chicks, so we allowed them to roam around the street. We weren’t worried about the chicks at all. They always came back in the evening to their cage. Every time we went home from work, the chicks inside the cages would stand up, as if greeting us. It saddened us greatly that when we went home one day, only one chick was left. The other chick—the green one—apparently had eaten something at the street and died. Only one was left, LJ’s pink chick which had grown into a young chicken. I was personally somewhat relieved that it was the friendly one that survived.
Weirder and weirder still
All by its lonesome, we decided not to put Kokok inside the cage anymore, but we kept it open anytime it wanted a safe refuge against our dog. Our pet Goku was a fierce dog (we only had one dog then), but was actually a softie to household members. Although it played rough with Kokok, it never reached a point where it would bite the little bird.
So that was the set up each and every day: Kokok gets out of the cage, eat its daily diet of feeds (sometimes old cooked rice), play with Goku, then go out to the street to roam around. In no time at all, it grew to a big handsome chicken, with a fat red crown on its head and below its beak.
It surprised me one day when, at home in the morning, I saw Kokok eating rice on the dog’s plate. I asked the maid if she had given the chicken its feeds. When she said yes, I pulled out the plate and gave it fresh feeds to eat. Kokok followed me all throughout the lawn until I put down the plate. It had disregarded the feeds altogether.
This one takes the cake….
If that wasn’t enough, I was getting complaints from neighbors that Kokok was stalking on them and pecking them on the sly when anybody came near our gate. I didn’t believe it until I was “attacked” by the chicken itself. Kokok had come from behind and pecked on my foot. I was chased all the way home.
Discussing the issue with my husband, we decided to tie Kokok’s leg to prevent it from further hurting passers-by. We were clueless why it had gotten so aggressive to the point that our dog had to steer clear from its sight. It was pecking at anybody in sight.
Kokok was an effective guard chicken just as our dog Goku was, maybe even better than our dog. Every time we come home from work, it would let out a loud crow and flap its wings just as our dogs would bark and run eagerly to meet us. When a stranger approached our house, Kokok would make a funny noise to let us know somebody’s at the gate. And if a visitor comes inside the house, we never tied or held Goku; it was Kokok that we were worried about. We had to tie it to a post to let the stranger in, otherwise, the visitor was going to get it.
Life with Kokok
It has been three years since we’ve had Kokok at home. He is an old chicken by now and we feel it is only a matter of time that he flies away to chicken heaven. He has mellowed down a bit, but still eats from a plate and chases everybody away with its hard pecking. He still wakes us up in the morning by flying to the window where our bedroom is. With Kokok around, I don’t have to worry about oversleeping. He makes sure everybody wakes up at the appointed time to feed him. And let me tell you this: this chicken has been family to us.
I thought this should be a really nice story for children. Too bad I can’t seem to attach the video of this chicken eating from a plate.