Wild Chickens on the Hill
East of Fort Stewart on Georgia highway 144, next to Love’s Truck Stop, it seems that there is a colony or flock of rather wild or feral chickens, hens and roosters both. I think there are neigh on to two dozen of the birds. How they got there is a matter of speculation, but it seems that an old house used to be there and was torn down a while back. Until recently, a buffer wooded area existed between the truck stop and Interstate 95. Rumors abound as to how the flock has survived and if anyone feeds them. Some say that an elderly lady would come by daily to spread cracked corn for them to eat. They do beg for food scraps from patrons of the McDonalds in the trucking complex.
They roost in the trees nearby at night and are a friendly bunch, albeit with an uncertain future.
So much so that a fishing buddy of mine was moved to capture them for relocation to a safer environment. Well, at least he thought that he was getting them all. Seems that he did not and that a contingent still remains.
During the process of catching them, a nosy tourist from the north saw him catch them and with a false impression that he was causing injury to them called 911. It followed that the local constabulary responded and listened to the complaints of the Yankee interloper. She allowed that the hens and roosters were in mortal danger but recanted her complaint when my buddy told the officer what he was up to. She apologized for the call and traveled on down the road to Florida, as most snowbirds do. Benny got a total of twenty-eight of the feathered critters. Again, he reckoned that he had them all. He had a small flock of more domesticated chickens on his acreage on down Hwy. 144, and hoped that the flock would accept this new group into their flock.
Well, his wife vetoed that notion and he was forced to find them a new home.
One of his friends agreed to take them to a rather remote area to our West known as the Groveland Community off Georgia highway 280. His spread is on the Groveland-Nevils road and backs up to Lott’s Creek. On the advice of Benny, he put them in a pen with a hen house, so that they would eventually roost in the house at night. They never did, and continue to roost in the forest in trees when allowed.
One morning we met up with another fishing buddy at McDonalds for breakfast long about daylight. As we left the café, a chicken was noted nearby. Upon additional examination, we noted that there upwards of thirty-six remaining in the wild bunch of birds. There you have it folks, we have a flock of wild chickens on the fringe of the hill.
I, for one, hope that they (the chickens) prosper and that no stink is raised, as it was in the “state of Chatham” to our north resulting in ordinance enforcement, fines and a comical application of the livestock laws for a municipal area. Probably not, since this is a sleepy little burg with very rural roots. But since the times “they are a changing,” who knows. Enjoy the splendor of the fine specimens of chicken lore as depicted.
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