City chicks and urban roosters

No doubt these beauties at Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina are “rural” chickens.. The population of the island is around 2500 , but places that serve food (restaurants, fast food) are not allowed.

I heard a rooster crow this morning on my walk and paused to wonder if he would be considered an urban chicken. After all, I live in an unincorporated part of the county, though the population is somewhere between sixteen and twenty thousand. But, alas, it is the county. Thankfully, Gulf Breeze “proper” (population 6000) lets us borrow their name, but we have to use our own zip code. In my short morning walk I passed five other walkers (three dogs in tow), a school bus (thirty kids in tow), one cyclist and a jogger, confirming my belief that I lived in civilization. But my four-year-old granddaughter Keaton told me she has to go through a long forest to get to my house. So, I guess the rooster I heard must be a “rural” rooster.

My grandmother raised “rural chickens,” right there in a fenced chicken yard on the far side of the house. That was before chickens were chi-chi and municipalities were writing rules and issuing permits for urban chickens. Like today’s urban farmers, my grandmother raised chickens for eggs – eggs that tasted like eggs ought to taste. But unlike today’s urban chicken farmers, Mawmaw knew a good roasting hen when she saw it and knew how to wield a hatchet. Chicken gumbo for Sunday lunch?

About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
This entry was posted in Dear Diary (Gumbo Experiences)... and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to City chicks and urban roosters

  1. jozokan says:

    There’s nothing quite like living in Gulf Breeze Improper! Love the blog 🙂


  2. Sandy says:

    There are some areas around my neighborhood that still have cattle, horses, and even burros. I haven’t seen or heard any chickens yet; even if there are any around, they’ll be glad to know I don’t own a hatchet. Chicken gumbo sounds good, though.



  3. Scott says:

    That’s funny–I hadn’t thought of urban chickens being “chi chi” now!

    When I was in high school in Mobile, I raised chickens for a while. It was a fascinating experience.
    Sure enough, we had real eggs from the hens (although the brown-shelled eggs were quite novel to us); and I killed and plucked some of them for food (using a cleaver), though they never tasted very good after I’d seen them flop across the backyard headless!

    I had a blue Andalusian rooster that was downright frightening! Very territorial. Every time I entered the pen, he’d come after me, and try to spur me. And I’d climb up a dogwood tree to get away!

    It was altogether fun, though despite (or perhaps because of) these misadventures! Eventually, however, some malcontent at the other end of our street called the police and complained about my rooster’s morning crowing (which was not excessive at all)–and I had to get rid of the chickens, since we lived inside the city limits.

    In today’s Orwellian society, there’s definitely something wrong with someone who is disturbed by the sound of a rooster crowing, a distant train whistling, or frogs chirping!


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