By TRACIE CONE
Associated Press Report
4:38 AM EDT, July 4, 2011
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of constantly squawking chickens run wild in the small California mission town of San Juan Bautista, possibly descendants of the chickens brought by the first Franciscan friars in 1769.
But some residents say too many now roam the town, and officials are planning a controversial cull of the flock in the coming days.
The chickens lend a Wild West charm to the small, historic town. Cocks strut the wooden sidewalk along the 1850s Plaza Hotel, while hens scratch around in a local restaurant's expansive garden.
But they also wake up residents before dawn, and some unwanted chickens with questionable pedigrees are being dumped in the town.
Mayor Andy Moore says they don't want to get rid of all the chickens, just those on private property where they're unwanted.