Bastrop News

Chickens on the loose

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You can’t blame ‘em – sometimes chickens just like to wander. And these particular Bastrop chickens are strolling away from the immediate vicinity of their famed – some might say ‘infamous’ – Historic Chicken Sanctuary on Farm Street. Complaints have been pouring in to the City’s Animal Control Officer Troy Walters.

“The chickens are destroying (surrounding) landscaping…and are defecating on the porch, patio, outdoor furniture” of nearby properties, reads a summary of complaints from Walters that City Manager Mike Talbot included in his Update Report to the City Council during their regular meeting Tuesday night.

But before getting into further details, City Council member Kay McAnally, who helped get the Chicken Sanctuary established, lent an air lightness to the discussion while eliciting a gaggle of laughs from the audience when she intoned, “May I just say in defense of the chickens…” That comment was followed moments later by McAnally saying about the chickens – “They can’t read, so they don’t know they’re not supposed to leave the sanctuary.” There were further laughs with that comment, but McAnally was also serious when she said some of the chickens’ habitat had been “destroyed” when the Convention Center – whose back portion and parking lot border one side of Farm Street – was built.

McAnally’s comment about the chickens’ lack of reading skills referred to the several large lamp post signs along Farm Street – with bright yellow background, a large rendering of a chicken and black lettering – that caution motorists: “Slow, Entering Farm Street Historic Chicken Sanctuary.” The sanctuary was established several years ago by the City Council because of their endangerment from traffic. Cars and trucks often sped down the street and some chickens were run over. It is an area of town that was historically, ‘farm’ country, hence the street’s name. A monthly music event in the Convention Center – ‘The Farm Street Opry’ – is also name for the street.

Since the discussion item was an ‘Update’ item from Talbot, no immediate action was required by the Council. McAnally suggested the city should consider planting trees and shrubs that were destroyed by the building of the Convention Center. “If we can help with their habitat, the chickens won’t roam so much,” McAnally opined.

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