It could be the lucky bird to escape the butcher’s knife. Maybe it’s lost its way from a backyard coop. Whatever the case, Bucktown’s apparently got a loose chicken in its midst.
A user on EveryBlock posted Wednesday that a “little white speckled” chicken was “prancing” around Levitt and Belden, being chased by neighbors wielding bags, towels and nets. The user went on to say the elusive fowl ducked its way into a backyard to avoid capture. Later, another user reported a sighting, just up the road between Medill and Beldin.
Neighbors on the site went on to speculate about the source of the odd wildlife spotting. Some said it ran afoul from Ciales Poultry Store--where live chickens, rabbits and other animals are kept--on Armitage Avenue, just north of the sightings. Others rattled off a couple of neighbors who keep chickens in their backyards in the area. In Chicago, urban chicken coops are legal as long as they follow a city ordinance. Several more cracked chicken jokes and puns running the gamut from “Chicken soup is on the loose” to “I have my deep fryer set to ‘poultry.’”
Reached Thursday, Chicago-area chicken consultant Jennifer Murtoff--who keeps a blog on the topic of raising fowl--offered some tips to Bucktown residents about chasing the bird down.
“The key is to wear the bird down, you’re not going to be faster than the bird,” she said. “There’s nothing quite like chasing a chicken.”
Murtoff offered a few more tips as well:
- Chase the bird into a corner, or a dead end alleyway.
- Get low to the ground.
- Try to predict the bird's movements.
- A net, like one used for fishing, is useful for capture.
- Try to figure out where it’s sleeping. Chickens are “practically blind” at night.
“You have to outsmart the chicken,” she said.
On Thursday, at a Chicago Social Media Week seminar on “Social Cities and the Local Web,” EveryBlock President Brian Addison said the chicken sighting was the most retweeted item for the site’s handle @ebchicago.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.