18 DEC-2020 Friday Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)
24°33’54.4″N 81°44’16.7″W Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida
Along the Way
I’m serving Key West Gypsy chicken on Christmas Day. Please RSVP so I know how many to catch.
Key West Gypsy chickens
Key West early settlers brought chickens here for food. Descendants of those chickens were later interbred with chickens brought in from Cuba and the Caribbean islands for cock fighting. Roosters are very territorial and will protect their hens. For many years a winning fight rooster would be a source of income and, of course, bragging rights.
In 1837 cockfighting was banned and as other sources of food became more accessible, many of the chickens were released to roam.
The Key West Gypsy chickens have a lot in common with rabbits. The population flourished. Chickens make great bug/pest control, but they are also nuisance scratching their little feet in meticulously maintained gardens and crowing. At one point, the rooster population grew so big that back in 2004 Key West hired a chicken catcher to reduce the population. The work of the catcher was very controversial so when the contractor quit the post was discontinued. The contractor didn’t even last a year.
Today the Key West Wildlife Center has a community trapping program. Residents can trap nuisance chickens and bring them to the center. The chickens are fed and cared for very well. The Wildlife Center moves more than 1,000 birds a year to farms in central and northern Florida for their eggs and pest control. YOU can even adopt a chicken!
It is against the law to kill the Key West Gypsy chickens. Key West Gypsy chickens are included in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Local folklore says the law dates back to voodoo practices involving the sacrifice of chickens.
Drolleries and Yuks
Why did the chicken cross the road?
– To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
– It thought it was a good idea at the time…
– Because it was free-range
– To prove to the possum that it could actually be done.
– To find a place where no one would question his intention of crossing the road.
– To get to your house.
Knock Knock Who’s there?
– To get to the other side.
Why did the baby chicks cross the road?
It was take-your-child-to-work day