Mellow: July 2000 – April 2009
Last month, my children’s pet rooster Mellow, died peacefully of old age. At 8 years 9 months, he must be the oldest cock in Singapore – and the luckiest one too, I would suspect. Instead of ending up on the dinner table, he enjoyed nearly 9 years of tender loving care.
One day in July 2000, my wife brought back 3 chicks from the market for my children to play with. My children loved animals. It was a decision she would regret. As the chicks grew, they started to crow loudly at all sorts of hours. By then it was too late to get rid of them because the kids had grown attached to them. Finally in October when we had to move out of our house to do a major renovation, we struck a deal with the children to keep only 1 chick. Our renovation contractor’s Thai workers were only too happy to help us do the necessary, and Mellow had them to thank for escaping the chopping block, ending up on this blog instead.
Our many attempts to get rid of Mellow
Mellow had a powerful voice** and it soon became an embarrassment for us because he would crow in the middle of the night or early in the morning and disturbed our neighbours. We tried several times to get rid of him. Yes we did consider murder – after all the Sixth Commandment doesn’t apply to noisy roosters - but decided against it because the bible does tell parents not to tempt their children.
Once we brought him to an animal corner at Ghim Moh which was run by the neighbourhood residents’ committee but we could not find the person in charge. Another time, we brought him to an animal shelter in Jalan Kayu, but found that it was not suitable. Meanwhile we tried all kinds of methods to keep Mellow from crowing at unearthly hours or at least lower the volume of his crows. Once I bought a big piece of canvas to cover his chicken coop but his powerful voice easily penetrated the cover. I even surfed the internet to look for ways to keep him quiet. Perhaps there was some kind of poison that can cause him to lose his voice without killing him. Alas, the only information I found was that a healthy chick can live up to more than 10 years.
Finally I discovered a way to keep Mellow from crowing at night. By covering him with a carton box, he can be fooled into thinking that it was not yet daylight. So during the day, we would keep him in a coop in our backyard, but at night we would bring him into the back kitchen and cover him with a box.
I should mention that many of our friends and visitors were kind enough to volunteer to take care of Mellow for us. But when they found out how old he was, they changed their minds. Apparently old chicken meat is very tough.
Below is a video of my children playing with the rooster. Sorry – cannot figure out why there is no sound.
** I think Victor, YG and a few other Friends of Yesterday.sg who have been to my place can testify to how loud his crowing was.
Related Post: Oldest Cat on the Blog
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