John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Portlanders are putting their elderly poultry out to pasture. We have a better idea.
This New York Times story about retirement homes for aging chickens covered everything but actual retirement homes for aging chickens. (Do you even have to ask where this is happening?) When you run a piece titled "Retirement Homes Beckon for City Chickens," isn't there a reasonable expectation that the account will include an old-person's home at about 1/100th the scale, full of slow-moving, raspy-crowing poultry? But no, it turns out these birds are "retiring" to farms, which is pretty much where you'd expect them to go.
To fix this glaring oversight of America's paper of record, we've created a schematic for an actual hospice for old fowl, with all the comforts the elderly deserve. Now that it's out there, Portlanders, make it happen! (Key below.)
Left to right, that would be:
1) Help, a fox is here! button;
2) Chicken Run on eternal loop;
3) Chicken overalls, pulled up extra high;
4) Easter Egg to remind chicken of its egg-laying years (roosters use it to sit on);
5) The Clucker, a Clapper clone;
6) Creamed-corn dispenser;
7) Framed photo of grand-chick who should really visit more often;
8) Tic-tac-toe board to while away the hours. Chickens love to play tic-tac-toe.