The morning of what will be another good day in Key West!
Today’s Key West Citizen’s Day in History section made comment re Key West chickens. On this day in 2004, the City Commission appointed an official chicken catcher. An experiment that failed.
The contract with the chicken catcher was for 9 months. He would be paid $20 for each chicken captured. There was a limit of 900. At the time, it was estimated there were 2,000-3,000 free roaming chickens.
The chicken catcher captured 542. Considered to be roughly 25 percent of the chicken population. At that point, the chicken catcher packed it in.
He claimed the City leaders were not committed to the cause. He felt they were micromanaging by providing him with chicken lists which specified particular areas where he should do his catching. The chicken catcher found this difficult. Many chickens might be in a particular area today, but not tomorrow. They moved at will. The chicken lists were useless. By the time he got to an area to catch them, they were gone.
The chicken catcher claimed Key West residents were not cooperative. They would stomp on his traps and taunt him. The oral abuse was too much.
Another consideration was involved. Money. Chickens are an endangered species or have some sort of protected status in Florida. They cannot be killed. The chicken catcher was required to ship them to a chicken farm located somewhere in northern Florida. The chickens would spend their remaining days in chicken comfort. The cost of shipping the chickens north came out of the $20.
There are chickens in Key West to this day. They probably will be here for all time.
Where did the chickens come from? Two sources are suggested.
The first involves cock fighting. A big sport in the keys for years. It is said cock fighting matches still go on in the wooded mangrove areas away from highways and police. The chickens of today are the descendants of the chickens originally brought to the lower keys for cock fighting purposes.
The other source is that early on, chickens were part of the food chain. There were no super markets. People kept chickens for food and eggs. A number of today’s chickens are descendants of those chickens.
Personally, I do not like the chickens. They are dirty and I fear germ carrying. I will concede however they are lovely to look at.
On to professional football. When I first heard of the deflated ball problem and the Patriots a few days ago, my initial reaction was that whoever was involved should be barred from professional football for all time. The wrong as bad as that committed by the Chicago White Sox many years ago. However after watching many retired pro football players on TV commenting on the issue, it appears every team does it. If so, then the punishment, if any, should be nominal.
The NFL however must put means and rules in place that will prevent this from happening again. The whole matter leaves me with a sour taste.
We close with my diet. I finally lost another pound. I am thrilled. It is now 28 pounds I have shed. I look forward to 30, though I do not plan quitting at that number.
Enjoy your day!