Peacock for Sale

27th July 2016

During my short few days in Port-au-Prince I think the most extraordinary sight I came across has to be the peacock for sale on the side of the street, that’s right, a peacock, as large as life and as colourful as they come, perched on top of a number of coops full of birds of every description from chickens to hens to budgies and maybe even parrots. I’m no expert on birds of the feathered variety but there were plenty of them there with their master, ripe and ready for sale.

I wasn’t particularly surprised by this sight as I had seen so many different things all along the street as I headed downtown but it’s certainly not a sight I regularly envisage when I conjure up city living. But then again I have to remember I’m in Haiti – a land unique in so many ways.

Haitian Households' Feathered Friends

Haitian Households’ Feathered Friends

Even within the city/suburban garden where I am staying there are a range of feathered species safely tucked away in their coups and runs, and they produce a good number of eggs for the residents. I didn’t ask what else they might do with them! But time will tell.

They may produce organic eggs but I wouldn’t necessarily say they are free range; they needed to be cooped up so the dogs wouldn’t get them, you see, and the dogs are needed for security and safety reasons. Animals play a large part in the lives of ordinary people in Haiti, as I’m sure you have deduced by now.

As I’ve mentioned before, Haitians tend to live according to daylight and darkness but for some reason, the cocks in this part of the world don’t seem to do the same. ‘Cock crow’ doesn’t automatically mean, dawn as I would think of it because cocks can be heard crowing at any hour of the day or night in the city just as much as in the countryside. If I don’t remember having heard the cock crowing when I wake in the morning, I know I’ve had a good sleep!