Chickens attack toddlers in California

Henpecked by angry citizens, the Sonoma City Council calls foul on free-roaming birds.


Ah, Sonoma, Calif. — rural town-cum-tourist spot. Grapes
drip from the vines, mom-and-pop companies proffer organic
goat cheeses and the leafy town plaza, lined by gift shops,
features meandering chickens.

Everything was fine until a couple of bad eggs began acting
up. According to a Reuters report, several of the plaza’s
chickens, mostly roosters, developed a bad attitude and
began to take out their aggression on toddlers.

After what the news service called “a flurry of attacks on
neighborhood children,” a particularly incensed rooster
jumped an 18-month-old boy without provocation, and the
battle between chickens and parents took off.

Although the attacks were attributed to too much
testosterone — not enough hens among the roosters — Sonoma
County parents were unsympathetic. Monica Garcia, the
mother of the assaulted toddler, told Reuters, “It’s not
charming when you have to see your baby attacked … Seeing
the blood going down his face and seeing him screaming … I
can’t sleep at night.”

The brutality of that attack was the last straw: The
Sonoma City Council promptly banned chickens from the

“I don’t know if it’s possible to envision a roosterless
plaza,” said Councilman Ken Brown, “but I have to tell you,
when it comes to a question between a kid and a chicken,
it’s the kid.”

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to

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