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The Daily Tar Heel

The real Carrboro party animals

Everyone complains about roommates. From puking in closets, stealing food or never even returning, we’ve heard some pretty wild stories about those with whom we share our lives and our bills. Few come close, however, to being real animals.

Earlier this year, my roommates and I hosted a fundraiser party to welcome new roommates to his two-story Carrboro dwelling: three female “Buff Orpington” chickens from western North Carolina. My (mostly) human roommate, Noah Crosson, was given these chickens by a family member who has been raising animals for a long time. He was anxious to welcome the new roommates and their contribution to his diet: big, brown eggs laid daily.

Now wait a second — do chickens lay eggs without roosters? The answer is an emphatic yes. Crosson says his chickens lay about 15 eggs a week, none of which are ever in danger of turning into chicks because his peep (that’s a group of chickens) is all female.

After the money for chicken food was raised and a small coop erected behind the house, Crosson’s three female roommates joined his five human roommates to much community anticipation.

“It took awhile for them to get comfortable,” he said. “At first we weren’t getting any eggs at all.”

Crosson is confirmed by the N.C. Cooperative Extension service, which suggests chickens require 14-16 hours of sunlight to produce the most eggs.

“Once they got settled in and we extended the coop, we started getting a lot more eggs each day,” he explained.

The chickens have been well adopted in the student community surrounding the house, and Crosson says he sees spectators admiring the chickens almost every day. Most onlookers usually mention how large the birds are, a genetic trait of the heavy-set ladies.

“I just wish the early morning spectators would feed them,” he said. “They wake me up hungry every morning before I give them their food.”

So why don’t more people keep chickens behind their house? The answer may lie in the legality of our chicken operation, which is at best questionable.

“We’re pretty sure having these chickens here is illegal,” Crosson said.

While an amendment was made allowing fainting goats to be residentially raised in Carrboro (go figure), the rest of the animal laws are ambiguous, most likely conflicting with our Carrboro house’s maintenance of chickens. We aren’t too worried, though.

Crosson said, “the community loves them, we love them and we treat them really well. There can’t be much wrong with that.”

Thinking about adopting some birds of your own? Check with the local law enforcement. We are happy with their addition, and think owning chickens isn’t just for Carrboro hippies. Crosson wanted to make sure I told you, “[He] likes beer, baseball and rap music, too.”

Sure, they make noise sometimes, but on the whole we think chickens are fantastic pets. “We love them. It’s like owning a dog that poops free eggs,” says Will Bryant, another roommate. And who doesn’t appreciate that?

“Bon appetit, y’all!” And thanks for a great year.

Alex Walters is a columnist from The Daily Tar Heel. He is a Junior biology major from Hayesville. Contact him at awalt@email.unc.edu.

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