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My Greek Vacation Neighbours: Free Range Chicken :)

The guy is very talkative. “Vociferous” experts would say. Day and night, he means, he has an important message to give to the world: to his small world consisting of hens, chicks and other roosters and to the broader world, one or two square kilometers away.

My big brown noisy friend

He crows several times during the day and every two hours during the night. Our night, the human night.

His poultry night seems to start right after dinner, which is at 6:30 -7 o’ clock. Short before the sun even sets down, my friend has ordered his flock up to the benches of a fig tree and he shuts his mouth up until one o’clock n the morning.

And there he goes again at one in the morning. A sharp “Kukuriku”, a short dash of feathers… My big brown friend starts with his hoarse voice: “Kukurikuuuu! Kukurikuuu!”

Another rooster from the North would answer him “Kukurikuu!”,  another from the East. Within seconds all roosters of the area have something to say and comment to the stimilus of my brown friend. The little feather guy next door, lord of hens and chicks, and several younger – I suppose- roosters of the coop.

Chicken at Dinner

The roosters’ party lasts several minutes, while other animals join the chorus. Some cows mooh, some goats beh, some dogs bark. Only the cats of the area seem to be indifferent to the pandemonium in the middle of the night.

Here and there, the cackle of a hen, who felt disturbed in her sleep by the boys having a great Kukuriku-time.

The party is short and sound, silence returns. Two hours later, at three o’ clock in the morning. There goes the party again, with my big brown friend.

My new neighbours: Free-Range Chicken

The guy next door and his harem are free range poultry living protected in a fenced land plot full of fig trees.  

During the day they hide under the thick  leaves but late afternoon, right before dinner, they gather all together close to the plot door. From there comes the food. A big basket carried by their owner.

I’ve been listening to them since last Friday. But for the first time yesterday, I saw what do they do after dinner. They climb on one of the fig trees for roosting.

Chicken roosting on the tree

 I don’t know if my friend with his “Kukuriku” crows for food, calls his hens, defends his territory or shows the other roosters who’s the real boss. He crows several times during the day and night. The only time I don’t hear him is when he certainly crows right before the dawn.

To tell you the truth I don’t feel annoyed by his crowing. Even if it’s the middle of the night. I think, he is just part of the rural scenery. And helps the hens supply me with fresh eggs from free range chicken 🙂

Kukuriku and GkAk

Mybrown friends’ favorite with the hoarse voice is “Kukuriku-Kukuriku!” Hoever I’ve even caught him making just “Kukuuu! Kukuuu!” but never “Rikuuu! Rikouuu!” The other roosters of the flock are no hoarse. And in the night, the one in the east has a crystal clear voice.

A Greek rooster would always “Kukuriku”, while an English would “cock-a-doodle-doo”, a Dutch would “Kukeleku”, a Finnish would “Κukkokiekuu”, a French would “Cocorico”, a Gaelic would “Cuc-a-dudal-du” and a German would “Kickeriki”.

A Greek hen would “Kokoko” or “GGkAAk!” as I hear from my friends’ coop. I guess “Kokoko” means “food” and  “Gkak!” says “here’s my egg!” Foreign hens would  “cackle”and “cluck “, I hear 🙂

PS Recently the hens of my brown friends’ flock had a huge dispute with the hens of the flock of their next door. It went like that “Kokoko-GKAk! Kokoko-GKAk!Kokoko-GKAk!”

The argument was solved through successful “Kokoko-Gkak!”-negotiations after 15 to 20 minutes.

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  1. There are great Greek recipes with free range chicken! Chicken souvlaki, chicken keftedes, chicken with potatoes in the oven… to name just three!

    • keeptalkinggreece

      chicken keftedes? I don’t think…

      • What about this recipe from a Greek newspaper?

        1 pound of minced chicken breast (breast or thigh)
        2 large onions, chopped
        kernels from 3 slices bread (preferably stale), soaked in milk and squeezed well
        1 tsp. soups sauce sweet chili sauce (you find it in the supermarket shelves with Asian products)
        1 small tomato, mashed (which hold 2 tbsp. Juice. Pulp to make a quick dressing, with lemon juice, salt and pepper for salad)
        2 eggs, preferably organic
        juice of 1 lemon
        1 tsp. tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
        leaves from 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (or Myra, in season)
        75 ml olive oil
        salt and freshly ground pepper
        flour for frying
        For the sauce
        400 gr. yoghurt
        1/2 clove garlic, chopped
        10 mint leaves
        30 g. honey, preferably thyme
        5 to 6 drops of lemon juice
        salt and freshly ground pepper
        Serves about 30 pieces
        – – –
        Prepare 30 Baking approximately 20
        – – –
        Process Meatballs : In a saute pan over medium heat in olive oil the onion for about 5 to 6 minutes to soften, then remove from the heat. In a bowl, mix the ground meat with bread, sweet chili sauce, tomato juice, eggs, oregano, parsley, mix the pan and salt and pepper. Knead well the mixture for 5 minutes. Place in a bowl the flour. Shape meatballs shaped nuts, we pass through the flour and shake to remove the excess. Put 2 to 3 cm from the bottom of the pan of olive oil over high heat and, when warm well, but emits smoke, little by little add the meatballs and fry them in installments over a medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes each dose. If you want to avoid the pan can bake the meatballs in the oven without being floured, at 200 ° C, for about 10 minutes.
        – – –
        Sauce: Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and a whisk for 1/2 minute. Pass the mixture of fine strainer, stir and serve in a bowl along with the meatballs.


  2. KTG, great article and thanks for the insight on your vacation, but just a bit of grammar, English etc.. Actually, roosters make a “cock-a-doodle-doo” sound not kuriku? So if you want to be proper, remember roosters say “cock-a-doodle-doo”, similar to cats saying MEOW, and not NAOY?? I have always wondered where the Greek language got these sounds and how they are not really accurate. Oh well, it’s up to us British to correct them when they speak our language I suppose.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Dear KTG fan,
      I had always wondered how a rooster with a rather simplified sounds-producing anatomic and intellectual system could ever make such a complicated sound like “cock-a-doodle-doo” that consists of different vowels and different consonants. If one checks different roosters in different languages, it would be quite striking that the majority of roosters use just “k”, “u”/”o”, “i”/”e” and “l”/”r” that belong to the same vowel & consonant groups. Although I have not made a research, it sound to me, that in most indo-germanic languages roosters “Kuku/Coco-something” -Exception are the English speaking roosters, of course. (Something like the EU/Eurozone membership, driving left lane etc).

      Furthermore a rooster on a Greek island making “cockadoodledo” would make such a blog post impossible as it could never bring to KTG readers the unique pluralism of my brown friend’s coop.

      Google for ‘onomatopoeia” and/or about roosters dialects.

      BTW: my cat would Niaou and even literally “M-I-A-U” when she is hungry 🙂

  3. Yes, correct, our UK roosters are more proper it appears than Greek roosters, a little secret is that Greek roosters are more tasty so in the end, I guess it’s OK if they make a different sound. I concede this point. 🙂

    • keeptalkinggreece

      maybe UK rooster have a higher IQ, they can sing cockadoodledoo and write it too. But as you say, intelligence doesn’t make one more tasty 🙂

  4. The finnish rooster is actually good at multitasking. He not only makes the infernal sound but also behaves like a sports commentator and tells people what’s happening. The word “kukko” means rooster and kiekua is the word for the sound a rooster makes. So kukkokiekuu also means “the rooster is cock-a-doodle-dooing”. Thats what you could call finnish efficiency 😀

    • keeptalkinggreece

      AHA! the efficiency of a rooster speaking an Uralic language – not bad at all.
      BTW: in our Greek coops it’s the hens do the reporting, I think 🙂