24th November 2012
A Fighting Chance
That the brutal ‘sport’ of cockfighting exists in our world is something many are aware of. The word alone conjures up images of fatal combat between two roosters, often in far flung corners of the globe, where animal welfare laws are lax or where none exist at all. But that cockfighting exists here in Australia, the ‘lucky’ country, in our own backyard is something many do not realise.
However, for Missy the hen and her nine chicks, the reality of illegal cockfighting rings is something of which they are all too aware. You see, Missy’s young brood of Madonna, Kylie, Stevie, Roxette, Christina, Shakira, Delta, Aretha and Mariah were born into the world of cockfighting. And whilst this blood sport is indeed unimaginably cruel to the roosters whose natural instinct is exploited for the amusement or financial gain of spectators, we often forget about the hens like Missy, who exist, raising and nurturing young as their intelligence and instincts direct, only for those born male to be thrust into the pit and forced to fight for their life.
It is due to the swift action of RSPCA Inspectors and Police that Missy and her babies were liberated from a life of abject cruelty and suffering. Seized during a major raid, these chickens will never have to worry about being fitted with metal spurs to attack an opponent nor will they ever be injected with growth hormones to increase their aggression. They will keep their uniquely individual combs and wattles and will not have them cut off without anaesthetic or pain relief.
Wishful thinking has seen us give all nine of Missy’s young distinctly female names. We do however know that nature often dictates 50% of chicks born will be male. It is no secret that housing roosters is difficult at the best of times, let alone those who have been bred for their aggression and stamina. At just 6 weeks of age, it is difficult to determine if our naming of the chicks is just pie in the sky thinking, however with love, kindness, patience and nothing but the utmost dedication on our side, we are determined that those of the nine who grow to become roosters will indeed have something to crow about. For we have given them a life worth living. We have given them a fighting chance at life.