Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Weather

Ybor chickens shepherded to safety in Brandon during Hurricane Irma

With every business in Ybor City closed on Monday due to Hurricane Irma, the Latin District was devoid of its usual afternoon rush of pedestrians.

But the Ybor chickens were still clucking about.

And it's in large part due to the Ybor Chickens Society, a nonprofit that seeks to protect the birds that have become synonymous with the district.

Society founder Dylan Breese said he and 30 volunteers collected 50 chickens, as well as 40 eggs, Thursday through Sunday and brought them to a safe warehouse in Brandon.

This not only protected those chickens but left less competition for hiding spots to ride out the storm for the 150 chickens not captured.

To corral the birds, the society used nets, cages and boxes with air holes.

These boxes were propped up with a stick attached to a string. When the chicken was lured under it with food, a volunteer pulled the string, closing the box on the chicken.

It's a technique Breese picked up from Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner cartoon fame, he joked.

"I promise we used no dynamite or anvils," Breese said.

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