When She Laid An Egg

By Odimegwu Onwumere

They were hatched together some nine months ago. They were five in number and separated earlier from their mother when they were merely chicks.

Five of them survived as we nursed them with processed food otherwise called "feed" in our local parlance. They are now three as two have been used.

I have watched the two fowls in this picture married to each other. The male always makes some noise when he found food that sends signal to the female. She will arrive and they pick the food together. The male will pieces the food sometimes, if it is hard, and watch the female pick them.

Few weeks ago, the male was making efforts to get a conducive place where the female could lay eggs. He had been climbing her for weeks. Language might not capture in explanation what both fowls did together in this process.

Today, September 14, 2023, the male lifted himself into the upper side of a cage I built for them. He started making noise that sounded kokokokoko. The female also lifted herself into the upper side of the cage.

The male started picking everywhere in the cage, because there were used items like clothes and sack bags there. He used his legs to scatter where he could. He would lay down while making the kokokokoko sound. The female who was a bit away would come and they lie down together.

They did this at different parts or sides of the cage but the female later discovered a place: Where we kept two sacks. She used her legs to brush it before lying down. The male was a bit away, still making the kokokokoko sound.

While the female lied down, her mouth was open, like someone panting for breathe after a long run. She was there for about 30mins. At a point, she started making the kokokokoko sound which was loudly joined by the male. The kokokokoko sound got to its peak.

She stood from the place, heading to jump down from the cage, likewise the male. When they jumped down, I checked the cage. Lo and behold, she has laid an egg. I knew it given their jointly noise, which my intuition noted that they have welcomed a new life to the world.

What an experience!
~Odimegwu Onwumere
September 14, 2023.