29 Mar 2017
What’s up with the Key West Chicken?!
A question asked by many of our Island visitors! Our beautiful chickens roaming the streets are descendants of jungle fowl that originated in Cuba and the Caribbean islands. These birds were brought here by our island ancestors and used as food. Chickens were also used as now illegal sport of cock fighting. Many of these birds escaped their enclosures or were just released when cock fighting became illegal. The feathered animals are now known as Key West Gypsy Chickens. Since Key West is a no-kill island, it doesn’t take long for the population of chickens to explode on this 2 x4 mile island!
When the population of chickens gets out of control and the predatory hawks migrate out of town, Key West Wildlife Center will loan residents a humane chicken trap to collect unwanted birds. Once caught the resident brings the chickens to the center. There they are provided care and sent off to various farms on the mainland. On the mainland they are prized for their eggs, and go to work as “organic pest control” workers!
At these locations they live free range just like they do in Key West, but safe from traffic and well cared for. Interested in adopting a Key West chicken? The wildlife center will gladly let people from outside of the keys adopt a bird. An agreement has to be signed stating that the bird is to be a pet and not used for meat. All adopted chickens come with a letter attesting to their authentic breeding as a “Key West Chicken”! More questions about chickens? Go to: http://keywestwildlifecenter.org
We Love Our Chickens!
The beautiful Key West chickens are represented as the business logo for At Home in Key West. Nothing says “at home in the keys” like one of our chickens! Even our Maintenance trucks are called the Rooster Fleet. If you are in town and hear a truck horn that sounds like a rooster…it’s our Rooster Fleet!