As disillusioned urban farmers dump chickens, some cry 'fowl'

SEATTLE -- Urban farming has become a trend in Seattle, but now disillusioned chicken owners are dumping their fowl.

Rainier Valley resident Susan Saranovich says a renegade rooster is on the run in her neighborhood.

Saranovich trapped the rooster under netting, and was waiting for animal control when the bird flew the coop.

It's unclear if an urban farmer became fed up with the bird and let him loose, but Saranovich says the bird travels from yard to yard, and has been hosed by neighbors who want him gone.

"He starts crowing at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning and probably crows at least once a minute. My neighbors across the street want to make stew out of him," says Saranovich.

Urban farmer Debra Hanson says she can understand why some fair-weather farmers might tire of the trend, especially when the hens no longer lay eggs.

Hanson says it's a lot of time, care, and cleaning for only a few eggs a day.

Chicken owners are also turning to shelters to dump their flocks.

Don Jordan, director at Seattle Animal Shelter, has seen an influx of fowl to the shelter.

"What we see coming into the animal shelter, as part of the urban farming movement, are chickens and roosters," Jordan says.

When Seattle Animal Shelter takes in roosters and chickens, they try to make sure they're adopted out to people who will let them live out their lives not cook them for lunch.

Seattle allows up to eight domestic fowl, but has banned roosters from city property, citing noise as a primary reason.