It’s been nearly one year since the “Goldenrod 6” chickens moved out of Corona del Mar. Since then, they’ve been living the good life in their new home at the Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery.
“They’re doing quite well in our aviary,” said Justin Myers, executive director of the winery. “They’re quite happy. They’ve made themselves at home.”
The six hens caused quite the flap last year when they lived in Corona del Mar with owner Michael Resk.
The dispute began after a neighbor filed a noise complaint with the city in December of 2011. Animal control visited Resk and instructed him that the chickens were considered livestock and he was in violation of a city ordinance. He was told to get rid of the hens or face fines from the city. Resk argued that his hens were more like pets rather than livestock.
Former mayor Nancy Gardner brought the issue up at a meeting in January and the city agreed to evaluate the issue.
The dust finally settled when the council voted on Feb. 14 to uphold the ordinance which did not allow chickens in that area of the city and forced the hens to find a new home.
The hens were transported to the winery by limousine after a farewell party last Feb. 25. Resk later reportedly moved to Texas.
The vineyard and winery property is zoned for agriculture, Myers explained, and they have had no complaints or inquiries from the city.
A lot of people still ask about them and a few still come to visit every now and again, Myers said. Resk has also contacted the winery on occasion to check up on them, he added.
Myers said they’ve also gained some friends: six Chinese silkie bantam chickens the winery recently adopted from another CdM resident.
When they first moved in, the rooster tried to show his dominance, Myers said, but the Goldenrod 6 hens quickly showed him who’s in charge.
The large, enclosed aviary also includes six pheasants and 12 cockatiels. Together they enjoy fresh water, hay, and seed, as well as the occasional treat of fresh lettuce, grown on-site. They spend their days relaxing in the egg house or clucking around the coop.
“It’s the Ritz Carlton of chicken coops,” Myers said. “Life is good for them.”