Form first line of chickens

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

I know we’ve touched on this subject before, but it seems as though the chicken population on Big Pine has reached epidemic proportions.

Just the other day, I saw two feathered fowl strutting about town. Now, in and of itself, this was not an unusual occurrence. Seeing two chickens walking around together is an all-too-common sight these days.

These two birds, however, had a distinct attitude about them. Maybe it wasn’t so much the way they walked, because chickens always seem to strut whenever they walk, perhaps it was where they strutted.

These two particular birds were strolling down the bike path on the island’s east side. More specifically, they were strolling in front of Coconuts and the bank.

And they knew they owned the joint.

A year ago, folks thought it was kind of quaint that a half dozen chickens hung around in the shopping center parking lot. People would do the ooohhh, aaahhhh thing whenever the baby chicks would come toddling out behind Mom. And the occasional aggressive rooster was just another source for conversation.

Eight months ago, the parking lot at the shopping center filled up with chickens. Every parking aisle had an extended fowl family living on it, and the roosters were getting more and more aggressive, in some cases playing chicken (no pun intended) with cars looking for parking spaces.

Six months ago, we began to hear reports of chickens popping up as far west as Ramrod Key, taking up residence in parking lots, back yards and wooded areas close to the highway. This new crop of folks being introduced to the ways of life with chickens continued the ooohhhh, aaahhhh thing.

A few short months ago, we began to watch as the chickens played dodge cars with the Detroit iron on the roads, set up barricades to block parking lot entrances, and actually began to go toe-to-toe with the feral cats.

Now we had discovered chickens with attitudes.

This latest display is just another step in the evolution of feathered fowl toward moving up the food chain on Big Pine. If the chickens can take over the bike paths, it will give them more territory from which to forage and launch ankle-nipping campaigns against humans.

These two particular birds must have been world-class ankle nippers. They strutted from the road to the parking lots with absolutely no fear, making full use of the parameters of the bike path. They probably struck fear into the hearts of every feral cat hiding under every porch along their route.

I’ve been told by folks who make animals a part of their lives that chickens can reproduce very rapidly, but somehow I don’t think the flood of chickens we’ve seen in the last few months were born here on this island. I truly believe they are being imported, and I think we all know from where they are being imported.

Full-grown chickens don’t appear from hatchlings after just a few days. The full-grown chickens have to have some time to grow to maturity.

And, isn’t it coincidental that more and more adult chickens began showing up on our island after Key West hired its chicken wrangler to round up the noisy critters and ship them off to reaches further north.

What we seem to have here is a group of chicken-rights activists who are surreptitiously rounding up chickens from islands further west, and transporting them up the Keys to us. I don’t yet know how they’re getting onto the island, and don’t know why they haven’t been spotted dumping off these birds, but both of these answers will reveal themselves in time.

Until then, we must mobilize. We must put out spotters. We must form a militia capable of handling the chicken influx. In short, we must find a way to put a stop to this mass chicken smuggling.

If nothing else, we must make dumping chickens on Big Pine unattractive to those who would do so. We must blockade our roads, no better yet, we must let our existing chickens blockade our roads so that their brethren cannot invade their homes.

We can train these chickens to stop suspect cars, inspect their various orifices and make sure they carry no contraband chickens.

We will give our chickens purpose and cause.

We will give them reason to organize, to congregate. We will instill in them a purpose beyond strutting and ankle nipping. With this effort, we will give rise to the socialization and humanization of the random flock of fowls we now have.

Sort of an Orwellian concept don’t you think?

Ah, maybe we ought to just stop feeding the little critters, because perhaps the dining has become better further east for these birds.

No Comments »

Leave a Reply