FloridaKey West Chickens
Key West chickens

Key West Chickens

Key West chickens have been strutting their stuff on the island for years, but they gained national attention when Harry Powell killed one with his BB gun. Since then, these feathered islanders have become the inspiration for all kinds of fashion and art.

Walk into any souvenir shops. Rows and rows of paintings, key chains, figurines with Roosters and chickens. Kew West chickens might be a bigger symbol of the island than the beach!

Key West chickens

Key West Chickens

Naughty chickens of town, Gypsies of Key West, National bird of Key West, Roosters from hell – just a couple of nicknames the locals have given them.

Key West chickens have been strutting their stuff on the island for years, but they gained national attention when Harry Powell killed one with his BB gun. Since then, these feathered islanders have become the inspiration for all kinds of fashion and art. Key West chicken T-shirts, hats, and even jewelry are all the rage, and artists love to paint these colorful birds. Of course, Key West wouldn’t be Key West without its chickens.

Key West chickens – the descendants of the fighting cocks

Key West chickens are a bit of a local legend. These birds are descended from chickens brought over by settlers in the 1820s.

When cockfighting became illegal, many of the birds were simply released, resulting in the population of Key West Gypsy Chickens we see today. Since Key West is a no-kill island, there’s nowhere for them to go, so they’ve just been allowed to stay. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see these chickens roaming around town, pecking at the ground or taking a dust bath in someone’s yard.

Blue Heaven in Key West

This particular key west restauant is very famous for roosters.
About a dozen roosters roam the grounds of Ricky’s Blue Heaven, a restaurant in Bahama Village. The restaurant, which decades ago

Many years ago, Blue Heaven held cockfights in its backyard.
Today, you see roosters and chickens walkign around tables and living their life. And the restaurants’ special (outside of merengue key line pie) is rooster’s breakfast. Don’t worry, there is no chicken meat in this breakfast. Only eggs, grits and pancakes. serves a rooster special at breakfast.

Adopting a Key West Chicken

If you’re interested in adopting your own Key West chicken, the Key West Wildlife Center is a great place to start. The center rescues many sick, orphaned, and injured chickens each year. You don’t have to be a Florida resident to adopt a chicken!

Key West chickens
Key West style

Miami or any other city in South Florida would never allow chickens to roam the streets. Key West is so laid back that it allows the wild chicken to pretty much own the streets.
The law prohibits any “luring, enticing, seizing, molesting or teasing an animal.” The law requires the owners to keep their chickens in a cage. While the wild chickens are welcome to roam the streets with ease. Compassionate tourists and residents feed them.

“A Poultry Operetta,” – a bird’s view on a crackdown of a Keys’ cockfighting ring. Based on a true story. You can find it on Spotify and youtube.

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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