Chickens get reprieve

Greg Kane

The chickens are safe ? for now.

Though some students say the number of livestock roaming the campus seems to have shrunk from previous semesters, the university took no action over the summer to thin the population, President Donald Gerth said.

Last semester, Gerth told Faculty Senate members he planned to ship the majority of the chickens to a farm in response to rapidly growing numbers. Over the summer, however, the population seems to have thinned without the university taking action.

“Either the chickens took care of themselves, or I understand there may have been some predators around at the beginning of the summer,” Gerth said. “Frankly, I don?t think there are as many as there were a year ago.”

Student Duncan Alan said it seems like the number of livestock on campus has shrunk from last semester. He added that the ratio of roosters to hens is also greater than usual, which will make it harder for them to breed.

“I see so many roosters around (but) no hens,” Alan said. “I think they did weed them out.”

Associated Students, Inc. Director of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Luke Wood said there seems to be less chickens, but added it doesn?t make them any less of a nuisance.

“It seems like they?re getting louder,” Wood said.

Other students said if anything, there seems to be more livestock on campus. Senior Patrick Smith said they seem to be multiplying at the same rate as last semester.

“Those cocks are breeding,” he said.

Senior Mark Cherry said he?s seen them in groups walking around campus.

“I saw like six or seven (in a group) the other day,” Cherry said.

Chickens have made Sacramento State their home for years, so long that students and faculty have grown used to the sight of them pecking around the campus, Gerth said.

“People who know about the chickens think it?s sort of pleasant,” he said. “It?s unusual.”

Smith said he doesn?t mind the chickens, but the racket they make doesn?t make them too popular with instructors on campus.

“You can hear them in the middle of class making noise,” Smith said. “The teachers hate them.”

Junior Andy McKenzie, who is in his first semester at Sac State, said he was surprised when he first saw the abundance of livestock on campus.

“I (thought) it was kind of odd at first,” McKenzie said.

Friends of McKenzie who graduated from the university several years ago said they can?t believe how much the population has grown, he said.

“They said they hadn?t noticed that many on campus,” McKenzie said.

Gerth said action would be taken should the numbers start to rise again, but administration currently has no plans to do anything about the livestock. They would be taken to a place where they could live out their lives if removed from campus, he said.

“If the numbers got too great, we?d have to do something,” Gerth said. “But we?re not about to go out and kill a bunch of chickens.”I am not hostile to the chickens,” he added.