Free Range Chickens

Portrait of a chicken

Portrait - 2010

St. Croix is over-run with feral chickens, free range at its utmost. Of course, no one eats them (too tough or something like that). Instead, nearly all the chicken consumed (and it is a local favorite) are shipped in from Tyson Foods, or some similar factory farm. So except for the danger from cars (and an occasional dog or mongoose), these local chickens are relatively safe. And it seems they have that and much more to crow about, starting well before dawn.

Some of them will proudly stand for a moment, as though posing for a portrait. But more often they are busy scratching in the dirt for a bit to eat, bright yellow legs doing much of the work. And some, like the gent at the bottom, seem very much in a hurry to get somewhere else… places to go, people to see, you know. Not unlike us.

Yellow chicken legs

Yellow Legs - 2010

Chicken on the run

Places to Go, People to See -- 2010

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18 Comments on “Free Range Chickens

  1. That’s so funny the last one now that’s a busy chicken. I’m surprised to learn that the free range chickens are tough, and that Tyson is the chicken of the day. The first image looks like a regal chicken with a fancy expensive coat.

  2. There you go, Starla… “A Busy Chicken.” Great title!! I’ve never tried one myself to see if they really are tough, but that’s what I’ve been told. Maybe people are just ashamed to eat them.

  3. Ha! …same way where I was in Africa …I think they just had a really hard time catching the little roadrunners! ……Nice bit of digital manipulation Don!

  4. I love the pictures, the first one is beautiful! the second is thought provoking. the third is funny. Not much eating in that one, eh?

  5. Hey, thanks, sweetiegirlz! i couldn’t resist a little humor in that last one. No, not much meat on him, unless you’re really fond of chicken feet (some people are, you know!).

  6. Hi Carol! Thanks for visiting… that last one’s scary, huh? A chicken of your (bad) dreams. At least with so little meat on his bones he’d be safe from the big bad human predator. Think of the streets of New York overrun with those guys! Even more than pigeons!
    Sorry… I got carried away with the image… it was fun though!

  7. I was wondering a while ago where chickens first came from … south east asia was the answer (Vietnam/China area) … but I like to say eggs anyway.

  8. Free range but of course not the last one- apparently received his steroid injection before crossing the road!
    HA- got us, didn’t you!

    The hairy eye-ball stare down on the first guy is rooster personification
    ( perhaps should be relabeled roosterification ) at it’s best.
    They sure do strut.

    After living her a few months, one of those boys ran suddenly in front of my car on Centerline Road- I had no warning, too many cars behind me and the timing was such that he got gobbled up under the front of my car and after several thunkety thunk thunks, got spit out the rear of my car in a flurry of screeches and feathers a- flying.
    Terrifying, and no doubt picked up by some opportunist behind me for the fryer.

    I never get tired of seeing these birds in unexpected places.
    Those yellow feet remind me of the days of old butcher stores when people actually selected them for soup.

    Now Tyson does all that for you, complete with hormones and chemicals.

  9. I really love the “Yellow Legs” and “Places to Go, People to See” images. You’ve really captured the spirit here of these free-rangers. Say, have you ever heard of the story of the headless chicken that went on tour and lived for years? Makes that chicken without a body seem almost possible. The graphic quality is marvelous.

  10. Hi planetross! I never thought to ask where chickens came from. It appears that a southeast asian EGG is the complete answer??

  11. Thanks Bonnie! What a gruesome story about running over the chichen, ka-thump, thump. The chickens running free are part of the charm of the island, except of course for those who must endure the crowing of the neighborhood roosters while trying to sleep.

  12. Hi Melinda! Thanks! No I never heard that story of the headless chicken who went on tour, but it seems possible. Other than eating, I’m not sure what good their heads do them. That fellow without the body showed up while I was working with the chicken pictures. He seemed so much like some of us when we are running around in a hurry that I just had to post it!

  13. Hi Jala! Nothing too soothing about chicken feet. Hard to understand how some people like to eat them. That last one is just a busy, busy chicken. Thanks!

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