According to a recent press release we received from FarmSanctuary.org, the increase in backyard chicken flocks has lead to an increase in abandoned and unwanted chickens, especially roosters.
Hens are obviously much more desired when it comes to egg-production, but because identifying the sex of a chicken when it is just a baby is so difficult, many people end up with unwanted roosters. Now, it's becoming difficult for bird and animal sanctuaries to house or place the hundreds of roosters that are being abandoned at local shelters (or just abandoned on the side of the road).
And, abandoned roosters aren't the only problem—you can read Farm Sanctuary's full position statement on the issue here.
We're thinking twice now about our backyard chicken dreams. And, we know that if we do decide to eventually own a few chickens, we'll be doing a lot of research beforehand.