The Great Chicken Debate

It’s hard to miss the chickens clucking around beachside while strolling Flagler Avenue, but are they a menace or part of the city’s charm?

Chickens on Flagler Avenue

These chickens have ruffled a lot of feathers lately sparking a heated debate around safety, but are they really a threat? Some claim yes.

chicken head

The City of New Smyrna Beach vs. Chickens

First, rumors swirled of an angered landscaper’s personal vendetta against these chickens pecking away at his hard work. Then a petition was created to get the attention of NSB Mayor, Russ Owen, in an effort to protect the birds. The online petition received 2,100 signatures in 24 hours. View the petition here.

NSB Mayor Russ Owen Responds Publicly

It is no surprise that the New Smyrna Beach Mayor responded so quickly and openly about the hot chicken topic. He ran on a platform of transparency and has followed through by encouraging public input to find resolutions.

He posted on Facebook stating:

Hey NSB, great job on the petition! Let’s talk about roosters…

– I’ve always liked them and would like to find a way they could remain a cool part of NSB. This isn’t any type of personal vendetta…

– Several folks have reached out with stories of being chased and clawed at (or whatever you call what roosters do) and some folks that work on Flagler daily are saying this issue is getting worse. At a townhall a few weeks ago a manager of a shop on Flagler said they often had workers trapped in cars by the roosters and I believe had someone get hurt by one. They all love them but are now afraid of them.

– Contrary to the petition, landscaping has nothing to do with this discussion nor is it a factor for me (I hadn’t even heard that issue tbh). Resident and guest comfort and safety is my only concern.

I’m anxious to hear from any local rooster experts with any suggestions or ideas for addressing these safety concerns without relocating them. I’m guessing folks feeding them is part of the problem?

Please share and reply with your thoughts on the issue. 
#savetheroosters #butmaketheroostersniceagain

red rooster peers through wooden gate

When Chickens Attack

If you follow the link (below) you will see all the comments in response to the New Smyrna Beach Mayor’s Facebook post with strong stances on both sides. From harmless chicken selfies to claims of alleged hen harassment, the debate is real and is getting heated.

What’s Your Stance?

If you have any input for the Mayor he is encouraging you to share his post and reply on Facebook. Visit his original post here.

Follow the Flock

Just like everything nowadays, an Instagram account has been created fighting for the freedom of the Flagler Avenue flock. Follow them @flagler_ave_rooster to stay updated.

Tiffany Evers is the editor and co-owner of East Coast Current magazine. In 2014 she was recognized by Editor & Publisher Magazine as one of the “25 Under 35” innovators in the newspaper industry. In 2016 she was elected to the Board of Directors for the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce. Follow her @eccprint

17 thoughts on “The Great Chicken Debate

  1. I will not come to Flagler Ave anymore if the chickens remain! Have been pecked at too many times, not to mention they stink!!! Leave them in Key West…they have their own problems with them now!

    1. Can you stop, Karen? As humans, we’ve taken over and destroyed trees with building condos and rentals to attract tourists. What more can we destroy to get rid of an ecosystem for our own selfish neefs?

  2. They eat lots and lots of insects
    They have a job to do on Flagler Avenue
    Love the chickens

  3. The chickens are harmless and entertaining. And some of the people I’ve heard speak out against the chickens are some of the same people who had no problem with letting developers carve up our town and sell it off charm, forests and all. Let’s keep the chickens and kick out the developers.

  4. Bawk Bawk said the Chicken Hawk! They are okay until they start eating our children.

  5. The Hens arent likely to do anything harmful to people. The roosters can be mean and try to jump up and spur people. Get rid of the roosters but keep the hens.

  6. I welcome the chickens and if they attack me I’m pretty sure I can take them!! #flagavechickens #SavetheChickens #ECC4chickens

  7. I’ve been part of this community for more than 30 years and have only recently noticed the chickens/roosters as being prevalent. What is the “ history” ? How, when, why are they part of the Flagler Ave culture? Please respond with factual answers or identify if you have heresay. Thanks

  8. They add charm to Flagler…PLEASE let them live in Peace and eat the bugs 🕷 I agree don’t let the Roosters arrive or you will have trouble. SAVE OUR CHICKENS🐥

  9. Keep the chickens. They’re the best. If you don’t like them vacation somewhere else. They live there, you don’t.

  10. The chickens are what bring Flagler the uniqueness. Leave the chickens they are harmless. Unless they feel endangered so leave them alone and they won’t bother you. I’ve been going to Flagler for years now and have not had one problem with them. LEAVE THEM!!

  11. Steeped in Mediterranean culture, Minorca chickens hitched a ride with Minorcan colonists who settled in New Smyrna’s British colony in 1768. Today, descendants of those colonial chickens are still scattered about New Smyrna Beach with other breeds. They’re a part of NSB history.
    No one has done a better job than Kassandra Smith, senior editor of Backyard Chicken Coops, describing today’s descendants of Minorcan colonial chickens.
    These gorgious chickens are graceful and energetic senoritas, sleek ladies with spicy personalities and were hugely popular 100 years before today’s hybrid breeds. They deliver big, bold, and beautiful eggs. Who could resist ping-pong ball sized yolks skinny-dipping in egg white?
    These Spanish darlings have distinctive alabaster earlobes and let’s face it; everyone looks great in soft black feathers. Their slender bodies slice through the air as they leap across the chicken run like a company of fleet footed ballerinas. Like iconic fashionistas, Coco Chanel or Audrey Hepburn, Minorca chickens know that every woman looks best in something short, black and sassy.
    They love to lounge out in the run while munching on a few mealworms and sipping on an apple cider vinegar cocktail. These independent women prefer to freely explore the rolling hills of their backyards and stick their beaks into all kinds of mischief.
    I say put some hens on Flagler to join the roosters and it will be “eggstraordinary”.

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