YBOR CHICKENS SOCIETY
Over the last several years, the Ybor Chickens Society has been building a presence on various social media platforms, and to date, we are roughly 10,000 followers strong.
Due to the ever-growing and overwhelming support from the community, we made the decision in 2017 to go from running social media for our feathered friends to being a full-fledged community organization. This way, we can both highlight one of Ybor City’s most unique charms and make a positive impact on our neighborhood.
While the chickens are the primary objects of our affections, we care about Ybor businesses and organizations, as well. With that in mind, we aim to promote and preserve harmony between Ybor’s businesses and its cutest residents. To achieve this, we have set the following goals:
To coordinate volunteer efforts to assist with the upkeep of public areas and businesses that are impacted by the chickens
To promote chicken-themed events to draw consumers into Ybor City and its businesses
To engage the community through a virtual chicken fostering and care program
To raise public awareness of the protections in place for our chickens and of their history in Ybor City.
And while we are not a traditional rescue, we can often offer some assistance – be it an informed suggestion or another pair of hands to help an animal in need.
The Famous YBOR CHICKENS
In 1885, a massive fire broke out in Key West, burning 11 cigar factories to the ground. Instead of rebuilding there, Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his factories - and his workers - to YBOR CITY, which was near the town of Tampa. These workers had gone to Key West from Cuba, and if you visit both places today, you'll still find their chickens in the streets.
After the fire, these chickens also made the journey to Ybor City. They were an important food source, especially during the Depression, and (even though we hate the thought of it) they were brought for cockfighting.
They remain a source of entertainment, but today, it's from the joy of visiting them and taking pictures of their little families and the hijinks they get into. Because of their historical significance, they were added to Tampa's Bird Sanctuary Law (Art. IV, Sec 14-176) and are protected from being harassed, harmed, trapped, hurt, or killed.