Has anyone else noticed that the stretch of Columbia Street between Degraw and Hamilton is starting to resemble a barnyard? To wit: what's with all the loose chickens lately?
I passed by a local community garden yesterday and noticed a rust-feathered rooster clawing about the grounds. He seemed quite at home, not lost or panicked. I had never noticed him before, having passed by the garden myriad times.
I mentioned this to the Wife when I got home and she responded "Is it the same chicken that I saw in the Art Lot?" The Art Lot is a open-air, ad-hoc rotating art exhibition surrounded by chain-link fence, at the corner of Columbia and Sackett. "Someone there has been feeding them." I went to check out this claim and, sure enough, not one but two handsome, healthy, black-plumed chickens were strutting about, content as could be. The Wife thinks the hens might be the work of the artists, a sort of silent protest of the poultry slaughterhouse that lies just down the street from the lot. But the card describing the current show lists five artists, each responsible for a different part of the exhibition; there was no mention of chickens being part of the show.
She also suggested the cluckers were possibly escapees from the slaughterhouse. I doubt that. If they were, the owners of said abitoire would have run down the block and retrieved them long ago. Whatever their origins, someone wants them there: a dish of food and water has been laid out for them.
The garden rooster looks more the escapee part. He's in sad shape, having obviously been pecked at quite a bit.
I read some time back that certain Red Hookers had the odd habit of keeping hens as pets, which is quite legal from what I understand. (Roosters, on the other hand, are not lawful.) But these birds have no visible owners and are living quite public lives. What's going on?
Oh, for the record, I have no problem with the chicks. I like them. I raised Bantams as a boy. Won some ribbons for them, I did.