|Back in the 1960's, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocked
Burmese chickens all over the state as an additional game bird to be hunted
like pheasant or quail.
These tiny, colorful birds resemble fighting game chickens, sporting
brilliant orange and yellow ruffs and gleaming black tail feathers.
Flocks of chicks were released several miles from Fitzgerald at the
Ocmulgee River. Populations of the bird never took hold in other areas of
the state, but for some reason, they left the river site and made their way to
downtown Fitzgerald, where they have propagated and prospered ever
Exotic and beautiful, Burmese chickens are also more athletic than your
average chicken. According to one poultry resource, if caught in a fight,
Burmese chickens move around and think out their moves, while other
breeds move straight into the fray.
Fitzgerald residents have a love/hate relationship with these wild birds.
Some folks buy seed and feed them regularly; others chase them out of their
yards and gardens with a broom and a few choice words.
Whether loved or hated, Burmese chickens are a familiar part of the
Fitzgerald scene. They wake you up in the morning, create minor traffic
problems, and, some claim, even keep the bugs away.
An annual festival celebrates these unique residents: The Wild Chicken
Festival, held in the downtown historic district of Fitzgerald. For information,
contact the Director of Tourism at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web,
www.fitzgeraldga.org. Telephone 1-800-386-4642.