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Those clucking chickens: To crow or not to crow?

By Walter Geiger Barnesville’s wild chickens draw varied responses from the humans they share their hometown with. Some love and feed them. Some tolerate them. Some despise and kill them. Some free them from traps set out by animal control officers. And, no doubt, more than one of our feathered friends has ended up in a skillet full of hot grease bound for the dinner table. Some people love to hear the roosters crow at sunrise. Others want those crows silenced and the roosters, their harems and offspring run out of town on a rail or in an animal control cage. Some just want a wing and a thigh snack. The city chickens vary by heritage. The wild ones have been around for a long time. Their numbers have vastly increased in recent years when more and more people have started keeping backyard chickens for egg production and the populations have comingled. The city’s host of pecan trees is the perfect habitat for squirrels but there is something here that chickens love too because they roost hereabouts in great numbers. Last night, the Barnesville city council took up the matter with Bill Hewitt of Tyler Street addressing problems with nuisance chickens and Robyn Underwood of Thomaston Street speaking in favor of the yard walkers. Mayor Peter Banks said the proposed city action was not targeted at the feral or wild chickens but added the city had trapped some 1200 wild chickens and “some” were adopted out. In the end, the council opted to take more time to study clucking controls.

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