I was heading for another chiropractor appointment in Ybor City early one morning and I saw a Mom with her babies standing in the middle of the road. I drove down the road they were on and they were not going to move. Since I had a few minutes before my appointment I pulled over into a parking spot and got out and shooed them back on to the sidewalk. They reluctantly allowed me to move them over.
At first they all ran and hide under Mom.
Then the babies started to wander around nearby.
After my quick appointment I drove back down the street and there they were, back in the middle of the street again. I guess they feel like they own the streets (they are protected here) and spend a lot of time in them. I was just being a tourist trying to shoo them over to the sidewalk.
I found another Mom nearby with several bigger babies.
The boys were still strutting around in the same spot as last week.
This Mom had 6 babies.
Driving down the main street (7th Avenue) at 9:30 in the morning, most of the restaurants and shops had not opened up yet.
I found a new chiropractor to try in Ybor City who came highly recommended so I headed over for a visit. I threw my camera in the car just in case I saw some baby chickens in the streets in Ybor. This part of Tampa is full of chickens and roosters. The story is that they are direct descendants of the chickens that lived here with the neighborhoods earliest resident’s over 100 years ago. They roam freely in the streets and are protected.
After my early appointment I drove a few blocks over to Centennial Park where most of the chickens hang out. I found several families and didn’t even have to leave the car. This Mom was busy with 10 babies to keep track of.
Roosters were strutting everywhere.
Another Mom with 7 babies.
I’m not sure if this is a juvenile or just a really small chicken. She was alone.
The boys were hanging around together.
The statue of Nick Nuccio, a former mayor of Tampa, He was Tampa’s first mayor of “Latin” (specifically Sicilian) descent. Most people think of Ybor City as just a history of Cubans and the cigar factories but there were just as many Sicilians back in the early 1900’s.
It was fun seeing all of the little babies and since I had several appointments I took a ton of pictures so there’s more to come.
I was walking around Horsepower for Kids in June minding my own business when this chicken came running up to me. At first I thought he just wanted to be fed but he jumped up on my leg. I was there early and there wasn’t anyone around. At first I thought it was funny until he did it several times. I’m glad I had my longer lens on my camera and put it in front of my legs to shield him. I didn’t want to hit him with it but was starting to panic a little (says this city girl). I kept backing up but he kept following me. Finally a volunteer came around the corner and said he was getting someone to put him up. After a few quick steps back, he left me alone.
Then I realized he must have been protecting his friend (the naked neck chicken). The naked neck chicken was standing near me when the other chicken started to charge. Looking back, it looked like they were a couple. He must have thought I was going to hit on his girlfriend. What an odd couple.
Speaking of naked necks, there was also one in the regular coop. This was the first time I had seen them here (or anywhere for that matter). I wasn’t sure if there was something wrong with them but I looked them and found out that they are a popular chicken to have, especially in hot temperatures like central Florida.
This chicken was checking out the feeding cart.
Free range, strutting around the farm.
I recently spent a morning at Horsepower For Kids. Walking around the farm, I found a Mom chicken with several tiny babies. They were hanging out around the horse stables looking for bugs. I had to sit down on the sidewalk and watch Mom teaching them how to look for bugs, scratching around in the dirt.
They were so cute, looking so hard at the ground.
I don’t even think they noticed me there.
Aren’t all animals cute when they are babies? Especially little chicks.
After walking around the farm for a while, I came back by the stables before leaving and they were still there. Staring at the dirt.
The ducks were cooling off with a bath at Horsepower for Kids Animal Sanctuary in late June. It made me want to jump in with them and go for a swim.
I decided not to jump in the pond since the geese own the pond and they are aggressive.
Even the tricolored heron was cooling off in the water.
I’m not sure if this white pigeon was a resident or just a visitor. He wasn’t in a cage.
Some of the chickens hanging around.
Jealous of this guy sleeping (maybe not in the dirt though).
Close ups of the faces at the petting zoo.
A Saturday morning walk around the petting zoo.
Continuing from my last post about the chickens in Ybor City, a broader picture of the cute courtyard bar where the chickens hang out in the morning.
Ybor City is a neighborhood in Tampa that was started around 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers and boomed until the Great Depression. It slowly declined and stayed in neglect until the 80’s when artists started to move into the area. Now it’s filled with bars and restaurants and a few shops. It’s a neighborhood with it’s own personality.
It was quiet and empty on a Sunday morning.
A few buildings are vacant including this old Coyote Ugly bar.
The heart of Ybor City is the Columbia Restaurant. Opened in 1905 and still owned by the same family, it’s the oldest restaurant in Florida and takes up a city block. I grew up eating here with my family when we use to come down to Florida from Alabama to visit my grandparents. It was my Dad’s favorite restaurant. I still bring my sisters here when they come to visit and Brett and I come several times a year.
Eclectic stores along the street.
This is the best time to be in Ybor, when it’s just me and the chickens.
On a hot Saturday morning in July I decided to head to the Saturday morning farmer’s market in Ybor City near downtown Tampa. I have never been and didn’t think it would be too crowded due to the heat and summer rains. Just wanted to wander around. I had heard there were chickens and roosters running around loose in the area but never have seen them there when we just pop over to eat at restaurant. The park where the market is held is over run with them. They were everywhere.
There were signs everywhere saying not to feed them but of course I saw a couple throwing out break to them.
They were hanging out on the front porches of the houses around the park.
The market was pretty quiet that early in the morning.
This must be the spot to bring your greyhounds because I saw several people walking them in the area.
There were tons of baby chicks there as well so I’ll post those later.