Marietta’s Big Chicken has new, bigger competition in south Georgia

BEN HILL COUNTY, Ga — Watch out, Big Chicken. There’s an even bigger chicken coming to Georgia.

Construction is underway for a 62-foot-tall chicken sculpture in south Georgia, and when complete, will be the biggest chicken in the state, bigger than Marietta’s famed Big Chicken.

The finished product will be a gargantuan topiary, meaning the chicken will be sculpted from living plants growing on its frame like a huge garden lattice.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Leaders in the city of Fitzgerald announced plans for the chicken sculpture in 2019 as a feature to bring tourists to the city of 9,000 people.

Mayor Jim Puckett said the coronavirus pandemic caused some construction delays, and the Tennessee-based artist known as Topiary Joe needed some down time to recover from surgery.

But Puckett said he’s in no rush.

“This is not a model kit that you just snap together. No one’s ever built a 62-foot steel chicken before,” Puckett told WALB-TV.

He added: “This is going to be fantastic when it’s finished.”

So how does this chicken stand up to the Big Chicken in Marietta? It will be about six feet taller. It will also edge the tallest known dinosaur, Sauroposeidon, which stood about 59 feet.

City officials are paying for the multistory chicken with penny sales tax dollars that were earmarked for tourism projects.The plans call for a room inside the base of the chicken that can be rented to visitors. The mayor says he’s heard from newlyweds interested in booking it for a honeymoon suite.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]