Introducing Chicken Poop Bingo

By on December 30, 2012

On an internet video station, Chicken Bingo is being held in a bar. Surrounding the chicken wire with beers in hand, customers intently watch what is going on inside the cage. A hen named Henny is about to make its debut, and prances about the cage. Rockabilly music plays while Henny finally dumps her prize close to the corner of four boxed off numbers. Her owner quietly removes her from the cage, and the camera spans to the pile of poo the hen left. The pie is mostly on the No. 16 square, but it does reach into the square underneath. That means the participants who bought tickets for No. 16 and its neighbor are about ready to win cash prizes. Chicken Bingo’s real name has a twist to it, which identifies the object of the game. For the purposes of this article, it will be deemed, “Chicken Poop Bingo.”

Bingo is an age-old game, and the animal adds an interesting component. Typically, rural folks use a cow, and the name of the game changes to Cow Chip Bingo or Cow Pie Bingo. The area is lot bigger than a cage, more like a small pasture or just a large fenced-in area. The game, regardless of the name and animal used, has been a favorite at county fairs, town celebrations and fundraisers. Most of the Bingo variations are played with the hope of raising funds for nonprofit organizations.

Playing Chicken Poop Bingo
Chicken Poop Bingo doesn’t require much energy or brain power. In the bar discussed above, 54 squares were sold for $2 each. Also sold were tickets for the gridlines, intersections and borders.  Inside the cage, the numbers 1 to 54 were boxed off, and the end result was an easy-to-read grid on the wood-covered pool table. The hen was brought in from the outside by the bar’s owner, by a woman named Ginny, who proudly owns Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon. She then placed the hen inside the cage, and everyone stared waiting for the inevitable, which is a frequent occurrence. When a visitor from Switzerland heard about the game, he rushed over to Ginny’s to watch the action.

Ginny’s animal Bingo game has been held at the bar for 11 years. The event, started by Ginny’s husband, became popular after it was advertised in travel guides and in local publications. The animals are fed an hour before to ensure a plop, which has taken as long as two hours. Some seem to think the game became popular in New Orleans about 24 years ago. The owner of Wahoo’s Bar in New Orleans recalled the city’s first showing of animals playing Bingo. The game was run by two men professing to be “Bingo Security.” Spectators, street vendors and tree climbers were at the event.

The fundraising idea has been around – recently it was used by a Kiwanis group in Illinois at a car show. A school district in California held a carnival, and the Bingo game featured a pet rooster. Another school in Kansas made Chicken Poop Bingo part of its homecoming celebration. The game has made it across borders as well. For example, The World Famous Chicken Drop was played in Belize at a bar. The event racked up the attendance. It was reported 500 tourists witnessed the drop.

Regulations for Chicken Poop Bingo
Organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) don’t agree with the game. Animals in crowded environments where participants are screaming for the animals to perform is no better than a factory farm, and PETA claims Chicken Poop Bingo or any form of animal Bingo is exploiting the animals. At least one state, Minnesota, has looked at regulating Cow Chip Bingo. The state’s gaming board said the game was not monitored enough to prevent cheating. The board’s director claimed a person could buy a ticket several days before the event, and sneak out to the grid to place feed around the ticket’s number. The feed would draw the animal to the numbered square, and that person would win if the animal made the drop. Additional concerns were participants scaring the animals in the hopes that they would move, and cow pies between numbers.

The state changed the name to Cow-A-Bunga, and cited the list of rules that fits on one page. One rule states the animals should be free to roam until the poo drops. If it lands on several numbers, organizers will determine the win by which number has the most on it.

I’m an avid gaming enthusiast and this really was a fun piece to write about!

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