About The Bay: San Francisco’s Problem With Homeless Chickens

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A goat looks on as chickens walk through Heidi Kooy's yard which she calls the 'Itty Bitty Farm in the City' November 16, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Heidi Kooy is one of many Americans that have started to raise chickens in their urban yards to try and save money on food costs during the economic downturn and to find a safer alternative to factory farmed food. Chickens provide eggs and natural fertilizer for gardens while eating the bugs that could harm the crops. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Chickens walk through the yard of a home in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Animal lovers are squawking over what they say is the dark side of the locavore movement.

The idea of living life like a locavore is to limit food and drink to locally produced goods. For many, being a locavore means raising chickens in their backyards. Unfortunately, some locavores have a change of heart, and are abandoning the fowl, much to the dismay of San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control.

“People either move or find out that maybe it’s a lot of work or messier than they expected or things like that,” said Animal Care and Control director Rebecca Katz.

According to Katz, the number of chickens rescued by her colleagues has increased in recent years, as the locavore movement really began picking up.

“More often than not we end up with roosters from people who decided urban farming was a great idea, wanted fresh eggs, and as the chick grew up it turned out not to be a hen laying eggs but rather a rooster so they turn them in.”

“We as a humane organization rescue group encourage folks to do their homework before actually getting chickens,” added Christine Morrissey, who runs Harvest Home Sanctuary in Stockton. “As an organization that has to step up and be a rescue resource for so many animals that are unwanted and animal shelters, it’s a huge problem for us.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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