YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Feral chickens can be a flock of trouble
By Gene Hall
What is wild, once domesticated, messy and invasive? Feral hogs? Sure. Also feral chickens.
Some folks are serious about keeping chickens in the backyard, and it can be a great adventure. I’m not criticizing that. But once the new wears off, some erstwhile chicken farmers just turn the critters loose. Chickens can escape on their own, too.
My mother kept chickens. Lots of them. She had high chicken wire fence—a necessity.
Chickens go where they will. Once free, they become wild and difficult to catch. Except for predators that appreciate the easy lunch. The survivors, their wings no longer clipped, will regain a limited power of flight. Their survival rate and the capacity for messy mischief then goes up.
The town of Bastrop, Texas has learned this. There, dozens of feral chickens are making quite a mess in their pursuit of food.
Feral hogs are a real menace. Wild chickens are just a nuisance. If you have chickens you’d prefer to be rid of, eat them. Don’t turn them loose. The neighbors will appreciate it.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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