Jeganda (running away from me!)

Jeganda isn’t the brightest bird in the nest. When TQ, my roommate, brought her home we blamed it on the traumatic ride. After all, she’d been hung upside-down by her legs on the back of a bicycle. You can imagine she’d be a little off kilter.

We tied her to our mango tree in the back yard to establish this was her home and then the next day let her loose to wander. Only she didn’t wander. She remained, legs splayed out as if she were still tied. TeaQueen eventually resorted to chasing her around the yard to get her to move.

And then move she did, right over our very tall fence where she shacked up with our neighbor’s rooster next door. Little hussy.  Dragged back home I still periodically hear the seeming call and response between the two of them through the concrete divide.

Seemingly adjusted, Jeganda has proven she isn’t the Einstein of chickens (of course

Behind these barrels is where she nests and inevitably gets stuck

what follows also proves we aren’t the Einstein’s of chicken owners). While we were all adjusting to our respective housemates we ran into a couple of problems…namely that Jeganda wants to come into the house.

Our doors are often open to let the breeze run through the house (call it nature’s air conditioning) and Jeganda spent her first few days taking the open doors as an invitation. Skittish as she is of me (despite loving our guards) she had no qualms with walking through the kitchen, down the hall, and toward my bedroom door. I had to actually chase her from the house –where usually just the shadow of my presence is enough to send her strutting in the other direction. Repeat this chasing scenario another two times and another two times substituting the hallway for the living room. Sigh.

TQ had similar issues in the office, although her numbers trump mine at 9 circles through the office and one egg laid on a pile of papers in the corner. Like I said, we’re not exactly Einstein either. Hot or not, I’m pretty sure Einstein would have closed the doors.

Where Jeganda chooses to sleep

After all that chasing we realized that the space we’d set up for her to nest wasn’t to her satisfaction – hence the scoping out of new lodging. It isn’t that we hadn’t tried. We’d put out a clay pot with ash, then a plastic bucket with ash and paper. Neither appealed to her as much as the office (who knew she’d be so picky, she picked a can of paint that leans to the side as her evening perch). The one egg she did lay in the place laid out for her she promptly kicked out of the nest– cracking it on the concrete.

She finally found a spot that suited her, between our water collection barrels on the back porch of the office. It is sheltered from view and probably feels safe. Too safe actually. That dumb bird flies or squeezes behind them to lay her eggs and then can’t get herself out again. This morning I heard her squawking up a storm (unusual for her as she is generally pretty quiet). After the third time I went to check it out only to find her wings fluttering about behind the barrel. I pushed it aside and just like that she was fine. Free to walk in the yard and peck at anything moving.

Not so bright antics aside, Jeganda is definitely paying her way. TQ paid 9,000UGX for her (roughly $4) and she has left us 4 eggs so far (250UGX each) with bright yellow yolks so different from the dull pale yolks so hard to distinguish from the whites of the eggs we generally buy. At this rate she’ll be in the black before she knows it and we’ll be in poached eggs and hollandaise sauce heaven (TQ’s weekend specialty breakfast!).

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