Fans of Netflix’s new binge-worthy documentary “Tiger King” will be excited to hear about the upcoming release of “Rooster King,” a seven-part series focused on a controversial Takoma Park backyard chicken farmer, Joe Organic, coming to Takoma Park City TV (Fios channel 28, Xfinity channel 13).
The show follows a bitter feud among the city’s poultry enthusiasts as they fight for domination of the locally sourced, free range chicken market. Chief among these enthusiasts are Organic, a charismatic but unstable figure known for his signature “omullette” (a chicken-themed mullet), and Karen Haskin, a poultry rights activist with a penchant for wearing feathered vests and a mission to destroy Organic’s business. As the two battle it out, the series delivers a string of bizarre controversies and wild stories, including illegal chick breeding, egg smuggling, tacky hen tattoos and even a lurid farmer’s market foursome.
Organic has long been known as a colorful figure around the city, where he regularly performs indie folk-rock music at the VFW and has twice launched underdog campaigns for Mayor and City Council.
Organic is best known, however, for keeping more than 1,200 chickens in his backyard “zoo.” Guests come from all over the state to this amazing poultry paradise, where they can have their pictures taken with baby chickens, watch keepers feed live grubs to the ferocious roosters, and buy “I Got Pooped On By A Chicken” t-shirts from his garage gift shop.
Haskin has worked for years to shut down Organic’s zoo, which she claims is in violation of local ordinances about the number of chickens allowed on a residential property, and immorally breeds hens to supply the local Chick-Fil-A. Haskin operates her own backyard chicken sanctuary in the City’s Historic District thanks to funds she inherited from her late husband, who is rumored to have been murdered and mixed in to Haskin’s supply of chicken feed.
The docuseries vividly explores the decades-long battle between Haskin and Organic, which ultimately runs a-fowl and leads to one of the craziest, most entertainingly bizarre stories you could possibly imagine. It’s a perfect way to spend six hours of your state-mandated isolation time.
(5 out of 5 Torches. Worth its weight in toilet paper)