City Hall

Crying Fowl on "Transgendered Hens"

By Erica C. Barnett January 12, 2012

Buried in the Department of Planning and Development's annual report was one "new enforcement issue" that the city says is nothing to yolk about: The issue of "transgender hens." [pullquote]"Our inspectors are not ornithologists, so if a bird looks like a rooster and crows like a rooster, we will have to issue a citation for having a rooster."[/pullquote]

In response to the city's ban on roosters, some chicken owners have apparently been claiming that their roosters are actually hens in disguise.

According to DPD spokesman Bryan Stevens:
Some breeds (Barred Rock is one example) in which the hens have rooster-like characteristics which may include combs, wattles, and spurs…which makes it difficult to tell whether it is a hen or a rooster.  Our inspectors are not ornithologists, so if a bird looks like a rooster and crows like a rooster, we will have to issue a citation for having a rooster.  Owners would need to establish that what they have is not a rooster in order to avoid a fine.

Stevens says that of 20 to 25 annual rooster complaints, about two have involved chicken owners claiming their roosters were actually hens.
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