A couple years ago in the sleepy town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, a band of roosters roamed the streets. Their names were different, depending on who you asked, but the general consensus was that they were named Malcom, Randy, and Carl, who was the most revered of the bunch. Malcom (AKA The General) was a Barred Rock while Randy and Carl were both Rhode Island Reds. Carl, being the most friendly and sociable of the bunch was dubbed, \"Carl the Downtown Rooster,\" and even had his own Facebook page.
While no one knew exactly where these roosters came from or how they made their way into downtown Ocean Springs, they were certainly a hot topic of conversation. Many people loved them and flocked to see them, which generated a lot of business for the shopping area where the roosters hung out. Several business owners fed the roosters and even designed merchandise in their honor. Others, however, were not so enthusiastic about their presence, complaining about rooster feces on the ground. Then rumors began to swirl of rooster attacks. For a while it seemed like these animals, who were used to being handfed donuts from the best donut shop in town, were simply begging for food. When begging ceased to work, they got a little pushier.
The complaints about the roosters escalated as their behavior did, and soon the city was at odds. The pro-rooster force was strong, but the anti-rooster group was not backing down. Soon one of the roosters, Randy, got hit by a car and a big push was made to remove the roosters for their own safety, but even that argument kept circling back to people claiming the roosters had grown too aggressive. They were, around this time, reaching maturity and asserting dominance amongst one another was a growing concern.
Then, in the midst of all the commotion, there was a rooster-napping. Carl the Downtown Rooster was mysteriously relocated, but after a fuss was made, the Mayor herself returned him to his old stomping ground. While most people rejoiced, the victory of Carl\'s return was short-lived. A little girl was scratched by Carl outside of his favorite donut shop where he was gifted with daily treats from patrons. Presumably Carl thought the girl had a donut, but this was the straw that broke the roosters\' backs. The City was faced with liability now, since the Mayor took the action of returning the roosters and thus opened up a whole new can of worms. The argument for Carl and Malcom to stay in the downtown area could no longer be made, though many people still wanted them to remain. They were again scooped up and removed from downtown, this time for good.
While it was sad to see them go, this was not the first time chickens found their way into places they do not belong, and it certainly will not be the last. In fact, Fort Myers, Florida residents are having problems of their own with a neighborhood rooster and his flock of feathered hooligans. Carl, Randy, and Malcom were a nice addition to the daily lives of many, but in truth a heavily travelled area of a downtown business district is no place for roosters. Even though many objected to their relocation, it was the best thing for them, allowing them to live out their days in an idyllic setting where they belong. Chickens, like all other animals, are not a novelty, but an animal that requires committed care. We may miss Carl, but his life on the streets was never meant to be.