I am writing a chook story at the moment. It has given me cause to pause and ask a few questions about chooks, such as : How old does the average chook live to be? Do chooks live longer than roosters? For how long can a chook go on laying eggs? What is a chook year in relation to a human year? Do chooks recognise their siblings? Or their mothers or fathers? Do roosters recognise their offspring? Do chooks really stand up to lay eggs? Can chooks recognise their own eggs? Why do we always call, “Chook, chook, chook,” instead of just “Chook”?
Where does the word chook come from? No doubt if I trawled the internet for a while I would find out. Is Australia the only country that uses the word chooks?
I love chooks. I could watch them all day as they scratch and cackle about. We’ve had a few over the years. Some have lived to an old age and died a natural death, whilst others have had premature deaths courtesy of the local foxes. And that’s not a pretty sight.
We’ve had Daisy, Snowy, Scratchy, Chicky, Blacky, Whitey, Tracey, Trixie, Cheeky and Sleepy. You can see a pattern here, can’t you. So next question: Why do chook names all end with y? Apart from Dexter and the Midnight Runners, a trio of black hens who once graced our yard.
At High School as part of a science experiment we all took a day old chick home. We imprinted the chick to believe we were its mother by tapping the ground in front of it immediately it was born (or hatched ) and in no time at all the little chicks were cheeping as they followed us everywhere. Wendy Brown took hers to bed and in the middle of the night rolled over and squashed it dead! That was an imprint not to be forgotten!
Chicks are cute until they turn into roosters.We once had a 100% strike rate. Five roosters out of five chicks. They had to go. Cost us a few dollars in vet fees as neither of us could bring ourselves to dispatch of them.
Does the world need another children’s chook story? I think so. You can never have enough!