The flock of feral chickens has been protected in Bastrop since 2009, on a stretch of road named the “Farm Street Historic Chicken Sanctuary”

By Alex Heigl
Updated October 07, 2015 03:32 PM

The town of Bastrop, Texas, has a chicken problem.

Hens and roosters run amok in Bastrop, flustering drivers and pedestrians alike. They crow and defecate and generally behave as chickens do, though here, in Bastrop, they’re legally protected for doing so.

The town’s flock of feral chickens has been protected since 2009, living on a stretch of road named the “Farm Street Historic Chicken Sanctuary.” They’re believed to be descendants of the frontier farms that Bastrop itself is descended from, but they’re getting a little big for their britches and are now encroaching on other areas of town.

“Unfortunately,” city council member Kay Garcia McAnally, who authored the protective ordinance, told The Wall Street Journal, “they can’t read the signs.”

For Bastrop’s mayor, Ken Kesselus, the problem has become pressing enough to demand his personal attention. “I organized a posse,” the 68-year-old former Episcopal preacher told the WSJ. “But we didn’t have any luck.”

Bastrop’s animal control is taking steps as well: 23 members of the flock were captured earlier this year; the Bastrop Police Department said that the “trapping of chickens is on a complaint basis.”

There is one upside to Bastrop’s chicken crisis, however, as David Marsh, the general manager of a local bus system, explained to the WSJ.

“There is no other more effective method of traffic calming,” he said. “I don’t know why the American Planning Association has never taken a look at it.”