Fitzgerald's Wild Chickens

"The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land."
- Aldo Leopold

Back in the 1960's, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocked Burmese chickens as an additional game bird to be hunted like pheasant or quail.


These tiny, colorful birds resemble fighting game
chickens, sporting brilliant orange and yellow
ruffs and gleaming black tail feathers.
Flocks of chicks were released several miles from Fitzgerald at the Ocmulgee River. Populations of the bird never took hold and for some reason, they left the river site and made their way to downtown Fitzgerald, where they have propagated and prospered ever since.
bchicken4.jpgExotic and beautiful, Burmese chickens are
also more athletic than your average chicken.
According to one poultry resource, if caught in
a fight, Burmese chickens will move around and
think out their moves, while other breeds move
straight into the fray.
Fitzgerald residents have a love/hate relationship
with these wild birds. Some folks buy seed and
feed them regularly; others chase them out of
their yards and gardens with a broom and a few
choice words.

Whether loved or hated, Burmese chickens are a familiar part of the Fitzgerald scene. They wake you up in the morning, create minor traffic problems, and, some claim, even keep the bugs away.

An annual festival celebrates these unique residents:
The Wild Chicken Festival , held in the downtown
historic district of Fitzgerald. For information,
contact the Director of Tourism at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or on the web, Telephone 1-800-386-4642.