Tag Archives: feral chickens

Chicken-Scooter Accident Closes Blacktip Island’s Road

scooter hits rooster

A Blacktip Island rooster collided with a passing motor scooter Thursday, causing an accident that closed the island’s road for nearly an hour. “There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. (photo courtesy of jaybergesen)

A collision between a feral chicken and a motor scooter Thursday afternoon near the Blacktip Island airfield closed one of the island’s two roads for more than an hour, creating the small Caribbean island’s first traffic delay, island officials said.

“Fatty Bottoms was northbound on his scooter, delivering a meal to the Seagroves up on the north end,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Just past the store, a large rooster darted across the road and collided with Fatty, resulting in a wrecked scooter and food going everywhere.

“I had to block the road while Marissa from the medical clinic made sure Fatty was OK,” Marquette said. “Folks were upset about having to go the long way around the island to get home, but Fatty’s health came first. He got away with just some minor scrapes. The rooster lost some feathers, but otherwise seemed fine.”

Bottoms said the rooster appeared out of nowhere.

“All I know is I was cruising along, making sure the mango pie didn’t dump sideways in the bag, when WHAM! I took a chicken upside my head and down I went,” he said. “By the time I finished spitting out feathers, the rooster was gone, and there was pie and rice-and-beans and grilled mahi all over the road.”

Residents say the accident is part of a growing poultry problem on the island.

“These chickens are getting to be a constant hazard,” Helen Maples said. “The Environment Health Department culled numerous of feral cats six months ago, and there’s been an explosion in the chicken population since then.

“They’re getting brazen, as if they own the island,” Maples said. “Until now it’s been stealing food, defecating on porches and pecking up cars. But now one of those large roosters actually attacked someone. Something needs to be done about this.”

Others were more alarmed by the trend.

“That one red rooster by the air strip’s been out on the road there a lot lately, staring folks down, daring them to try to get past him,” Linford Blenny said. “That’s a red flag. The chickens’re up to something. With no tourists on island there’s less food waste around. They’re getting hungry. And desperate. Need to ship in some more feral cats, is what I think.”

The island’s constable called for calm.

“There is zero evidence this incident was purposeful on the part of the rooster,” Marquette said. “And the island’s chickens are not plotting any organized uprising.

“We are, however, urging island residents to exercise caution in dealing with chickens in the near future. Don’t leave food out, be aware of your surroundings and, if you must drive with your windows down, please wear a motorcycle helmet. There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time.”

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Giant Vacuum Keeps Blacktip Island Chickens In Check

chicken shucker

Blacktip resident Piers ‘Doc’ Planck has modified a beach-cleanup vacuum device to remove nuisance, feral chickens from the around the Caribbean island’s resorts. (photo courtesy of ‘Doc’ Planck)

A Blacktip Island entrepreneur launched a controversial plan Wednesday to control the Caribbean island’s burgeoning feral chicken population by vacuuming them up with a tractor-mounted suction device.

“Island roosters used to be quaint, crowing down by the air strip, but now they’ve spread down to the whole west coast,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “They’re a major pain in the butt, crowing non stop all night at the resorts.

“They’re keeping tourists awake and crapping on everything,” Cobia said. “Guests’re telling their friends and Blacktip’s visitor numbers are dropping. Doc’s solution’s a bit extreme, but these damn chickens created an extreme problem.”

Island resident Piers ‘Doc’ Planck said the device siphons up the birds, reduces them to a fine meal and deposits them in barrels towed behind the device.

“We tried nets, traps, slingshots, you name it. Nothing worked,” he said. “We’re using a modified version of the gizmo that sucks seaweed off the beach, with a nozzle adjusted for medium to large jungle fowl. I’m calling it the Chicken Shucker.

“I wanted something that’d wring their necks and pluck them so we could sell the meat to restaurants,” Planck said. “Then the plucker attachment malfunctioned and ground them up instead, and I thought, ‘well, that still solves the problem.’ Death’s instant and humane, and we sell the meal as fertilizer and fish bait.”

Animal rights activists decried the device.

“This monstrosity is neither kind nor humane,” island People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Harry Pickett said. “Doc’s chasing chickens through the brush with a giant vacuum, then running them through a wood chipper. Their last moments are sheer terror.

“We have a fenced-in sanctuary at the south end of the island to house nuisance chickens, and we have humane, live-capture traps set up around all the resorts to capture them,” Pickett said. “Grinding up chickens is not the answer. And what about all the land crabs and iguanas sucked up as by-catch?”

Planck brushed aside those concerns.

“Occasionally we do end up sucking in non-chicken wildlife, be it a crab or songbird or what have you,” he said. “We train our staff extensively on how to avoid that kind of thing, to keep it to a minimum. But with a project this big, you have to expect some ancillary losses.

“That’s a small price to pay compared to what a boost the Chicken Shucker is to the island economy. You have to focus on the big picture,” Planck said. “Also, truth be told, after the first few chickens, you start to kind of enjoy it.”

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