When we last saw the Kipe Compound chickens, they had just been abandoned by their father while in the throes of awkward adolescence. I am happy to report that, thanks to the united efforts of the whole compound, they both thrived and made it to adulthood. Male adulthood.

Zoom Zoom and his new owner

While the chicken-farming project was originally undertaken in the hopes of getting eggs, we now found ourselves with two completely unproductive roosters on our hands. And not only were they utterly useless as egg-layers, they were LOUD. They seemed to have a special fondness to park themselves outside my or Seamus’s bedroom windows and trumpet the coming of the new day, often at four o’clock in the morning. Particularly on weekends and holidays. Once the crowing started it did not take us long to conclude that these chickens had to die. Soon.

We started looking at various methods of killing chickens – the throat slit, the head chop, the neck wring – and to make plans for how we should cook them after they shuffled off this mortal coil – breaded and fried, roasted with potatoes, or boiled in soup. There was only one problem: they’re still pretty skinny. They look fabulous all puffed up walking around the compound, but it’s all feathers. It seemed like a waste to kill them when they wouldn’t make good eating, but with every early morning wake-up call it became more and more clear that the chickens had to go.

Fortunately, our conundrum was solved by the timely intervention of some Future Farmers of America. Our Marine detachment commander’s kids took a liking to our feathered friends and their indulgent parents graciously agreed to adopt them. This evening the newly rechristened Zoom Zoom and Zoltar left their childhood home to join the Marines. Those they left behind may shed a tear or two, but it’s for the best. And we’ll certainly sleep better knowing they’re happy in their new home, safely out of earshot on Saturday mornings.