Ritual chicken finds good luck after thrown into sea at Port Shepstone

Port Shepstone – A chicken that was thrown into the sea as part of a traditional ritual in Port Shepstone has ended up with all the luck after it emerged unscathed, and with a safe new home.

Warrant Officer Marc Wiid, of the police’s search and rescue unit, was doing his usual patrol along the beachfront in the south coast town in KwaZulu-Natal, last week when he came upon a strange sight.

In the shallow water he found a shivering white hen that was barely breathing.

He also noticed white candles that had washed up on the beach.

Without hesitation, he wrapped the half-drowned hen in his towel and rushed off to the vet.

Miraculously, the hen emerged with a clean bill of health, veterinary surgeon Dr Claire Norton told News24 on Wednesday.

“We treated it for mites. After a couple of days, it has made itself at home and is now part of the practice,” she said, laughing.

Norton said flowers were apparently also found at the scene.

“It seems to be part of some ceremony where people take their bad luck and put the bad luck onto these poor chickens. They throw these chickens into the sea. This poor chicken washed up and was sopping wet.”

The lucky bird was named Cuckoo but was also known by several other names, including Chicken and Amanzi (water).

She had a slight case of separation anxiety and would become very upset if left alone.

When dogs came to visit, someone would pick the hen up and take her to another area.

The practice’s resident cat was not too pleased, and a little bit fearful, of the latest arrival.

“Everybody who comes here is quite enamoured with her,” said Norton.

“I think someone put their good luck on the chicken, not their bad luck.” DM


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options