Chickens. I think I’ve previously mentioned my hankering to have a few at our finca in rural Mallorca. I’ve had a thing about chickens since I was a young teenager and we had a family holiday in North Wales, staying in a cottage on a farm. Every time I went outside, chickens would appear all around my feet, and then follow me as I explored the farm. I’ve even chosen a few names for my ‘gals’. . .
In theory, we live in a great place to keep chickens. Our land includes a large open field, where I can imagine these feathered lovelies roaming happily around, pecking at the ground. All we would need would be a safe warm home for them at night. We have no foxes on Mallorca, but we occasionally see polecats – and friends of ours had their flock devastated by one of these. So it would need to be a very secure home.
Besides the sound of contented clucking chickens, and their company when you’re outside, there’d be the benefit of a regular supply of free-range eggs. We’d probably have more than we need (I’m not keen on eating eggs and wouldn’t want The Boss to become egg-bound), but the excess would make useful thank-you gifts for those neighbours who sometimes give us some of their garden produce.
Sense Beats Sentiment
Alas, it’s not to be. The Boss (who is far more practical than I am) has on several occasions pointed out why keeping chickens wouldn’t be such a good idea. And he’s right on all counts – particularly the one that says free-roaming chickens and our seven feral ‘adoptee’ cats all on one finca could get messy.
So, I’ve been getting my chicken fix elsewhere. On the busy ring road (the Ferrocarril) in Manacor, there’s a roundabout (Plaza de Madrid) with shrubs in the middle that’s become home to a flock of chickens. They’ve been there for ages – probably more than a year; we usually see them several times a week, and are always on the look-out for the latest flurry of fluffy chicks. These chickens rarely seem to stray away from their roundabout and the traffic doesn’t seem to bother them.
Manacor’s famous feathered friends
We have often thought they were rather vulnerable in town, with only the shelter of some bushes to protect them. What about passing cats and canines? Sadly, on Saturday, their lack of protection was evident. We spotted four bodies and a lot of scattered feathers on the grass; the rest of the flock had survived whatever had attacked them, but it must have been a terrifying incident for them all.
I imagine we’re not the only ones who were upset to see what had happened: the citizens of Manacor have really taken their feathered neighbours to heart, and people regularly throw food onto the roundabout for them. These clucky birds even have their own Facebook page – Ses Galines de sa rotonda. When I looked just now, 2,876 people had liked it (an increase of more than 30 since I checked last Thursday). And I bet you can guess who one of them was . . .
Jan Edwards Copyright 2015
8 thoughts on “Manacor’s Chicken Roundabout”
Hi Jan, we pass this roundabout when we are in Majorca and always notice the chickens. I can’t seem to find the facebook page though, is it exactly as you have written in your blog?
Yes, it is the correct one. These chickens are getting quite famous!
My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in South Africa and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 1-2 years. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. I wanted to know if you could help spread the word to expats living there or are close to moving. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Hi Joe. Forgive the delay in responding, as I have been abroad after a family bereavement. I am afraid I am not Jackie and neither do I live in South Africa. I hope you’ve been able to find some subjects for your filming!
Manacor is the land of Rafa Nadal. People there use to be hard and strong and a little… mad?
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Jan, it really is not very difficult to keep chickens. One just needs a securely fenced area for them. (and a chicken house, of course) Our chickens give us a feeling of quiet contentment when we let them out to the apple trees behind our house. We sit out there with a cool drink and listen to their contented sounds and their scratching noises. Our dogs and cats do not bother them at all. But….if you do not really like to eat eggs then there is no reason to do it. We eat eggs almost every morning and sometimes for a light supper. Our neighbors really appreciate the gift of a fresh dozen and occasionally people have stopped on our road and asked to buy some. If we have enough we gladly sell them. You really should try it!