Ybor City, a Tampa neighborhood of about 5,000 residents, is home to many Latin American restaurants, the Ybor City State Museum, and now a chicken sanctuary. The Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary nurses feral chickens and re-homes domesticated ones. It is also located on J.C. Newman’s campus, right across the street from El Reloj, Newman’s iconic 111-year-old factory.
I’ll refrain from making the obvious “chicken crossing the road” joke and focus on the sanctuary itself. So far, the Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary consists of four chicken pens, a shed used for medical treatments, and 6,000 square feet of land. This modest setup has to contend with a significant chicken population for an urban setting. Some have estimated that as many as 200 wild chickens are in Ybor, due largely to a population boom four or five years ago.
Luckily, J.C. Newman has been able to assist. They charge the sanctuary just $100 a month for the lot, and donated $4,000 to get the medical shed added. The cigar company also designs and sells Ybor Misfits merchandise at its gift shop, using the proceeds to further assist the sanctuary.
In the future, Ybor Misfits hope to add accommodations for those looking to visit the sanctuary. Picnic tables and the like would make it easier for them to welcome groups of tourists or students that would like to stop by. So, if you find yourself in Tampa, getting first-class smokes at J.C. Newman’s factory, be sure to cross 17th street so the chickens don’t have to!
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.