The upsurge in urban chicken populations occasioned by relaxation of city ordinances to allow small egg production flocks has resulted in cases of predation. In a recent incident, a resident of Cary, N.C., complained when a red-tailed hawk, exercised by a falconer, supplemented its usual diet of rodents with a young rooster snatched from a backyard.

The news report, which made the front page of the News and Observer, illustrates the conflict of rights represented by the licensed falconer and the homeowner.

Although raising hens in urban areas has increased, problems associated with disease, cost of feed, parasites, fly infestation and poor egg production may convince urban chicken owners to revert to purchasing their needs at the local supermarket.