Brand New Year – fresh crop of bizzare chicken stories from our friends across the pond…

Thumbnail image for us police.bmpFirst out of the blocks is this story from the msnbc news service in Florida of a suspected shoplifter who tried to resist arrest by an off-duty policeman.

The man had been spotted stealing a tin of beer in the same shop the day before. And his choice of weapon? A stolen chicken dinner he had stuffed under his jacket.

North of the border, in Canada, four more men have been arrested for stealing a tractor and trailer full of deboned chicken.

The escapade was reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, which said the goods – destined for Toronto – were stolen from a Montreal car park.

The thieves were caught after they tried selling some of the chicken back to the owner of the truck the next day. His suspicions were raised first by the price of the chicken, at just $4.50/kg, and also by the fact that his logo was on the boxes.

It is live chickens, not “dead-uns”, which have made the news in Nashville, Tennessee where the Metro Council has debated a bill to make it easier for city dwellers to keep their own backyard hens.

Thumbnail image for ChickenWhisperer.jpgMembers of pressure group the Urban Chicken Advocates of Nashville apparently left yellow marshmallows on council members’ desks ahead of the debate, while local celeb Andy Schneider – the so-called Chicken Whisperer – spoke passionately about the way hens can unite rather than divide communities.

The new rule, which is yet to be passed by the full council, will limit flock size to a maximum of six, though a ban remains on keeping hens in front yards – and cockerels are totally forbidden.

Finally, we hear that US rapper Ludacris, whose third album Chicken-n-Beer topped the Billboard charts in 2003, is opening a new restaurant called…wait for it…Chicken and Beer on Concourse D of Atlanta International Airport.

He joins fellow musicians Jay-Z and Flava Flav as rappers who have dabbled in the chicken business.

God bless America!