Feral Chicken Flocks Are Terrorizing Residents of the Largest of the UK’s Channel Islands

Wendy Love, iStock / Getty Images Plus
Wendy Love, iStock / Getty Images Plus

Flocks of feral chickens on Jersey, the largest of the United Kingdom’s Channel Islands, are doing their best to ruin the lives of residents, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “free range chickens.”

The chickens, iNews reports, are waking people at dawn with clucking and crowing, trampling gardens, interrupting traffic, and even chasing joggers. People might be more inclined to forgive them for what mostly seems like typical behavior (with the exception of chasing joggers) if the chickens were roaming in small groups, but these flocks number over 100 birds each. It’s likely that a few chickens started out as pets who were then abandoned and have been breeding an army ever since. And the island of Jersey isn’t home to foxes or any other predator that might keep the population to a more manageable level.

As a result, Jersey Environment Minister John Young told iNews that he’s had to order two “modest” culls, wiping out 35 chickens. It hasn’t been enough to solve the problem, especially since animal rights advocates are against culling as a solution. But since nobody actually owns the feral chickens, they’re technically not protected under the UK’s animal welfare law.

“We are in a situation where we have got animal lovers on one hand and where we have got those who are experiencing a nuisance on the other. I can’t pretend to sit here and say I have got an answer to that,” Young said. While they work to find an answer, officials have warned locals against feeding the chickens, which encourages breeding.

According to the BBC, Jersey's director of environmental health, Stewart Petrie, said that the only significant danger the chickens could cause is if cars swerve to avoid them in the road. But the lack of sleep caused by a 4 a.m. wakeup call every morning can definitely damage your health, and the prospect of getting chased by a crazed chicken might make you skip your daily jog, too.

[h/t iNews]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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A Wily Fox With a Passion for Fashion Stole More Than 100 Shoes From a Berlin Neighborhood

The smirk.
The smirk.
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

In Berlin, Germany, a fox has embarked on a crime spree that puts Dora the Explorer’s Swiper completely to shame.

CNN-News18 reports that residents of Zehlendorf, a locality in southeastern Berlin, spent weeks scratching their heads as shoes continued to disappear from their stoops and patios overnight. After posting about the mystery on a neighborhood watch site and reading accounts from various bewildered barefooters, a local named Christian Meyer began to think the thief might be a fox.

He was right. Meyer caught sight of the roguish robber with a mouthful of flip-flop and followed him to a field, where he found more than 100 stolen shoes. The fox appears to have an affinity for Crocs, but the cache also contained sandals, sneakers, a pair of rubber boots, and one black ballet flat, among other footwear. Unfortunately, according to BBC News, Meyer’s own vanished running shoe was nowhere to be seen.

Foxes are known for their playfulness, and it’s not uncommon for one to trot off with an item left unattended in a yard. Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife explains that foxes are drawn to “things that smell good,” which, to a fox, includes dog toys, balls, gardening gloves, and worn shoes. And if your former cat’s backyard gravesite is suddenly empty one day, you can probably blame a fox for that, too; they bury their own food to eat later, so a deceased pet is basically a free meal.

The fate of Zehlendorf’s furriest burglar remains unclear, but The Cut’s Amanda Arnold has a radical idea: that the residents simply let the fox keep what is obviously a well-curated collection.

[h/t CNN-News18]