Backyard chickens are so 2011, but unlike stone-wash skinny jeans, getting rid of passe fowl is more difficult than just dumping them outside your apartment. Or is it? NBC reports that the lure of "misplaced rural nostalgia" has many chicken owners trying to rid themselves of their flocks, having realized that raising birds isn't as easy as Kindling Quarterly made it out to be.
“Many areas with legalized hen-keeping are experiencing more and more of these birds coming in when they’re no longer wanted,” Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States, told the station. “You get some chicks and they’re very cute, but it’s not as though you can throw them out in the yard and not care for them.”
Sean Casey, proprietor of Brooklyn's Sean Casey Animal Rescue, said that while abandoned chickens are always something of an issue, he hasn't seen an uptick since urban farming became popular. Often, he said, people don't even dignify the animals with new homes, but dump them outdoors in places like Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery. On average, he collects around five or six birds each month.
Truth be told, Casey said, the increase in urban chickening (why not, right?) has actually helped thin the usual excess of chickens, since more people are looking to adopt found fowl.
"People in the city not only want them, but you can usually have them," he said. "A few years ago, if you set up a coop, someone would call the Health Department."