Pittsburgh-area animal shelters say they're overrun with chickens, all because of a recent trend.
A growing number of urban residents, like Katherine Vogl, have become chicken keepers. This trend has sent an overwhelming number of chicks to area shelters.
"I guess I had empty-nest syndrome," Vogl said. "My kids were gone, and I needed something to take care of."
A spokesperson for the Animal Rescue League in Pittsburgh told Channel 11's Trisha Pittman that it usually takes in 13 to 15 chicks per year. However, this year, 47 chickens have been surrendered to the shelter.
Vogl said she has 10 chickens in her Sewickley yard, and it's not as easy as just building a coop.
"I think it's the same as having a dog or a cat. You have to make a commitment. When I make a commitment, I make a lifetime commitment to these guys," Vogl said.
The Animal Rescue League said it turns the chickens it receives over to farms, sanctuaries or other urban chicken keepers.
The shelter said the best thing to do before buying hens or roosters is to educate yourself and to check with your neighbors.
"I think they really need to look into it. I got a couple of books on chickens and got a chicken magazine," Vogl said. "I figured out what they needed to be winterized, the food they're going to eat and just what they're like."