This is no cock-and-bull story. There is something to crow about, however, as it has a happy ending.
Last Thursday, August 23, the Hout Bay Organised Facebook page contained a rather unusual item. Among the posts was one penned by a rooster called Florence – noteworthy in itself given the sex of the author.
Posting in the name of his owner, Alice Cropper, Florence explained his predicament.
“I have some fancy ways, and my parents thought I would make a lovely backyard hen, but I was biding my time to reveal my true colours, and they are noisy colours at that,” Florence wrote.
“My parents have tried everything to keep me, including a ‘crow collar’ (that I rip off and chuck on the floor) and keeping me in the bathroom at night (I hate sleeping next to the toilet!) but it’s not fair on me, nor the neighbours, so my little hen Isabella and I are on the lookout for a new home.
“Please be aware that we cannot go to any home – we are pampered poultry and are used to a grassy garden, comfy living and treats (favourites are spaghetti and banana). We are crime-series addicts and will sneak inside when your back is turned to watch from the couch.
“I also have Small Cock syndrome and therefore want to be the only rooster on the ranch. As Isabella is very petite and gentle, if there are other hens, she asks that they be small enough that she won’t get bullied. Please, Hout Bay, someone find me a chicken paradise (not of the butchery sort!) And please don’t be mad at my parents for rehoming me. My mum is going to cry a lot, as I am her cherished baby.”
The desperate plea was signed with love from Florence and Isabella.
The delightful post immediately struck a chord with Hout Bay Organised users, who clearly were roosting for the pair to find a new home.
While Hout Bay residents are renowned animal lovers, Ms Cropper also knew that cluck would have to be on the chickens’ side.
This week, Ms Cropper, who now lives in Kenilworth, revealed that, thanks to the kindness of one page user, a bright future peckons for the pair.
“Their next owner is also a former Hout Bay resident, who now lives in Paarl. Coincidentally, the owner already has a pig called Florence. My name is Alice, so she is going to call Isabella Alice. My surname is Cropper so she is going to call Florence Cooper. So they will be the rock/cock stars Alice and Cooper,” she said, referencing the rock music legend.
No doubt it will be a testing transition for the chickens, especially since their coop in Kenilworth is known as “Cluckingham Palace.”
“Florence hasn’t been my bestie; I call him my nestie. I am really sad to be saying goodbye to them, but I am pleased they have found a home,” said Ms Cropper.
She said it was amazing how much the people of Hout Bay cared about animals, but when it came to chickens, they were often conflicted because they also enjoyed eating poultry. She hoped that through Florence and Isabella they would see how “human” the animals could be.