The chickens of Oude Molen

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about my favourite place in Cape Town – the Oude Molen Eco-Village (see the sidebar for my previous posts). So I thought I’d make up for that now by sharing some photos of the many, many chickens who call this place their home.

Oooh! Look! Baby chicks!

I love popping in at the Millstone Farm Stall for a delicious chococcino and a super-decadent ultra-chocolatey brownie.

The chicks look like little balls of fluffy feathers… I wish I could pick them up, but Mommy Hen is very protective of her hatchlings.

Or a wholesome butternut and feta quiche with a side salad. Or a spicy pizza slice… yumm!

What a proud rooster – look at that magnificent colouring!

Or to pick up some farm-fresh organic vegetables, delivered fresh every Friday: potatoes, leeks, carrots, butternut, sweet potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, …. even some exotic-looking coconuts.

Having crowed a welcome, he marches off again.

Or to inhale the aroma of their freshly baked bread or ciabatta, straight from the wood-fired oven.

This little white chicken-youngster fluttered onto the top of the fence, from where it tweeted and chirped that this was now HIS Territory – cute!

Or to splurge on a glass of honey or a bottle of olive oil or a jar of home-made jam.

This youngster kept wandering away from Mommy Hen – clearly, he has an instinct to roam!

There is always something happening: a children’s party with balloons and lots of hyper-excited kiddies racing around; or perhaps a workshop for children on making pizzas or baking cookies.

These youngsters are already a little more independent, although Mommy Hen still obligingly scratches away the straw to show them where the food is hidden

Recently, a drumming circle met there for a morning workshop of drumming, using Djembe drums, which sounded most exciting.

After Mommy Hen and her brood have been scratching and pecking for a while, they retire to a nook among the tree roots, where they proceed to clean their plumage

Some days around lunchtime, the youngsters from the adjacent Gaia Waldorf School get a drumming lesson underneath the large old tree with its pirate ship treehouse. It can get a little noisy when they become carried away by excitement, but their delight in making beautiful rhythmic sounds with their drums is quite infectious.

This bright-eyed Chicken Little looked straight into my eyes – I hoped he couldn

And even if there aren’t any organised activities, I find that the horses, dogs and chickens – and Miss Milly May, the resident pig – provide endless entertainment.

A splendid white-and-black speckled rooster marched past.

Recently, for instance, I was browsing the shelves in the farm stall when I heard the most alarming and bone-chilling squeals coming from Milly May’s residence just around the corner. Her cries were so heart-rending, that I immediately rushed over to investigate.

I wonder what kind of breed this is, with such fluffy legs? He looks a little uncomfortable when he wanders around, rather like a toddler with a full nappy

It appeared that Miss Milly had tried to get out of her pen by forcing her considerable bulk through some bushes and out through a miniscule gap in the fence.

Don’t those two look just sooo handsome? Ahhh.

Well, she must have under-estimated the size of her belly, because the poor dear had gotten herself solidly stuck in the bushes. The thick branches were clasping her firmly, and had no intention of letting her go. She could neither move forwards nor backwards.

Suddenly, with a flutter of wings, this russet-coloured rooster flapped up onto the fence. It demanded considerable skill for him to remain balanced on the narrow plank, but that didn

Jochi, the Millstone chef and Milly’s owner, was trying to pull her out backwards… which is why she was squealing so loudly!

He posed proudly for my camera, while I spoke with him.

It was the first time that I realised the meaning of the phrase “squealing like a stuck pig” (I’d always thought it had to do with knives and such… Now, I no longer think it does.) Yep. NOW I know that sound. It goes right through your stomach, and turns it inside out.

Just then, this multi-coloured rooster fluttered up onto the far end of the fence, and started crowing! Loudly! Proclaiming confidently that he was The King of the Roosters!

When all attempts to free Milly May were unsuccessful, Jochi decided to leave her in peace… in the hope that she would get herself out of her own mess. (A couple of days later, one of the waiters confirmed that she had indeed managed to escape, by forcing herself through the bushes and out through the gap in the fence on her own. Clever girl!)

Well, Russell, the russet rooster, wasn’t having any of that. He started to crow too – he didn’t do so well at first, so I cheered him on and encouraged him to try again. He did! Again and again, until he finally got it right! The other rooster hopped down, defeated by Russell

I so badly wanted to take a photo of her where she was stuck, because I really wanted to show it to you. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.

Russell looked straight at me, evidently pleased that he had won the impromptu Crowing Competition. I praised him enthusiastically.

When I went to commiserate with Milly May, she looked as sheepish as it is possible for a stuck pig to look. She glanced up at me, and gave a disconsolate snort, while I scratched the top of her head and spoke kindly to her.

Uh-oh! Another rooster arrived, together with his small blonde sidekick. He looked quite aggressive, and Russell thought it prudent to beat a hasty retreat. He trotted off into the distance, feeling a little embarrassed.

Wordlessly, she asked me not to take a photo of her in this acutely embarrassing predicament. So I scratched her head some more and reassured her that I was keeping my camera firmly tucked away in my rucksack.

The russet-and-white rooster, meanwhile, crowed piercingly, announcing that He Was Here, and Nobody Had Better Mess With Him.

Oh dear, the poor thing.

Anyhow, that is why I have now shown you photos of chickens instead!

3 thoughts on “The chickens of Oude Molen

  1. Reggie, the butternut and feta quiche sounds absolutely stunning. So much so that my stomach has started rumbling and wouldn’t concentrate on Ms. Millie’s situation with enough attention. LOL! Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

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