A Ybor City, Florida, resident is tired of his noisy and destructive neighbors who think they rule the roost.
Why would he want to know, are they free to wander around and damage property and comfort themselves wherever they want? Why are they free to wake everyone up at 4 AM with their noise?
This might sound like a common occurrence anywhere. The situation is slightly different in Ybor City.
This is because the rioters in question are chickens – yes, chickens. And in Ybor City, a historic neighborhood within Tampa, they are protected by ordinance and tradition.
Unhappy 69-year-old resident Steve Calkins, He took his complaint to town Recently this is what they told him. Their hands are tied. Get used to it.
The increasing number of wild chickens
If this were just a lonely accident, it probably wouldn’t attract much attention. But it is not an isolated incident. Many parts of the country are dealing with an increasing number of “feral chickens” that are causing problems for their human neighbors, and some are considering laws and regulations to help humans in this effort.
Most of these locations are warm-weather coastal or island destinations for the holidays where chickens are loved – and fed – by tourists who consider them enchanting. Stories of serious disputes between humans and chickens have surfaced in Key West, Florida, and many locations in Hawaii and California.
(The United States is not the only country to deal with these feather hotspots. On the island of Jersey, a British Crown off the coast of Normandy, France, feral hens have become so daring that they are The chase ran. at Titirangi, New ZealandVillagers who emerged from the epidemic lockdown last year discovered that the local feral chicken population had exploded, leading some to compare it to “something out of a Stephen King movie.”)
History and traditions
what happens? Why have some areas become havens for wild chickens?
In some places, such as Tampa and Key West, chickens are protected as part of bird sanctuaries for all feathered creatures within municipal boundaries. In Kauai, Hawaii, a large wildlife refuge is the main habitat of a feral herd.
Then there is the history and tradition. at Ybor CityThe chickens are believed to be descendants of chickens that immigrants brought to the area 100 years ago. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the cigar factories that provided them with so many jobs were forced to collapse, prompting laid-off workers to farm – and keep chickens – in their backyards.
Times have changed, but chickens have remained and are cuddled by many in the community. Ybor even has a file Chicken Association Dedicated to maintaining the harmony between chickens and humans by cleaning chicken droppings, among other activities.
In Kauai, Hawaii, chickens are believed to be descended from those who lived in the distant past – from Polynesian travelers At least 800 years ago. In other words, chickens have a certain charm and many locals love them for this reason.
In Key West, it’s known as Key West Gypsy Chicken, Which are believed to be descended from jungle birds from Cuba and other Caribbean islands and brought by immigrants to Key West as food. And Roma chickens are also descendants of cockfighting chickens that were simply released when this activity became illegal.
Like Ybor City, Key West has an organization that strives to maintain order between chickens and humans. The Key West Wildlife Center lends humane chicken traps to people to take to unwanted neighbors for shipment to mainland farms.
Actions at City Hall and Statehouse
Like other places, Key West had sharply divided feelings about feral chickens, and the anti-chicken faction recently scored a small victory. On February 2, the Key West City Commission issued a decree making it illegal to feed feral chickens, and imposed a fine of $ 250 for the first day of the violation and $ 500 per day for repeat offenders.
The idea is that chickens become more aggressive and dangerous if they think they can get free aid from people. City Commissioner Mary Lou Hoover said voters had reported this Chickens attacked her When they put dog poop in the trash, thinking it to be food.
Meanwhile in Hawaii, the confrontation between humans and chickens became a statewide issue recently when lawmakers considered a bill, 524That would impose a $ 500 fine on feeding any feral chicken in the state.
On February 4, he submitted the bill to the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Homelessness, which decided not to act.
Testimony presented to the committee gives an indication of why members are delaying work: while some hate chickens, others love them.
Honolulu resident Robert Marx wrote: “The numbers of feral chickens here (and elsewhere) have exploded!” “Goodwill neighbors feed these birds, making them breed and spread widely … They got really bad.”
However, Brianna Pelekai responded that feral chickens are native to islands and are subject to discrimination. “The life of a“ wild ”chicken is difficult. People harass and harm these chickens for no reason. Chickens are wonderful and amazing animals …
It is perhaps safe to say that feral chickens and humans will simply continue to shed their endless coexistence in Hawaii – and in Key West, Ebor City and elsewhere. Chicken lovers and chicken haters will keep moving each other’s feathers, and the chicken themselves will have a lot to accompany at 4am, just like it always has.