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Beloved chickens may face eviction in Newport Beach

December 29, 2011 |  8:17 am

As Michael Resk moves around his Spanish-style home, small bobbing heads mirror his actions, following him to the front gate, backyard and alley.

The chickens make it clear that he rules the roost.

When he walks around his Goldenrod Avenue yard, he's occasionally followed by the six members of his feathered flock — nicknamed the Goldenrod 6 — as they cluck, peck at the grass and dig holes in search of bugs.

Resk has owned the chickens for 16 months, but he ran afoul of city ordinances that prohibit owning poultry in Corona del Mar, the Daily Pilot reported. But it's all a mix-up of semantics, Resk says, because his birds aren't for meat or eggs; they're largely ornamental.

His chickens — Red, Blackie, Flaty, Tiny, Blondie and Whitey — are the manifestation of an idea he had while sitting in his yard thinking they would be a nice decorative addition. But after a neighbor complained to the city, Resk was given two weeks to remove the birds. That was a week and a half ago.

Newport Beach's law, enacted in 1970, prohibits owning any animal commonly considered livestock within city limits, with a few exceptions in permitted areas.

Resk said he is prepared to pay some fines.

Though for some residents, Resk and the Goldenrod 6 have become a local fixture for neighbors out for a run, nannies taking children for a walk, and passersby. Many enjoy visiting "the Ladies."

Susan Jent, a nanny who was watching over young girls Matea and Madalyn on Wednesday afternoon, said they often come by to see the birds.

"We always walk past here and look for the roosters and the chickens," Jent said as the girls stood along the fence greeting the chickens. "It's the highlight of the walk."


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--Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: The Goldenrod Avenue chickens are beloved by neighbors, young and old, though apparently not by all of them. After receiving a complaint, officials invoked an ordinance that prohibits the keeping of animals considered livestock in city limits. The chickens' owner says they're ornamental. Credit: Daily Pilot