Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Lady Cluck.(Final)

Byline: Story by Leanne Potts Photograph by Adolphe-Pierre Louis * * * Of the Journal

Tic-tac-toe-playing chickens rule the roost - and the odds - at local casino

When spring won't quite spring and the desert wind won't quit blowing and the news is all bad and clinical depression is looking like the only sane response to the world, it's heartening to know that somewhere out there a chicken is playing tic-tac-toe.

The chicken's name is El Rock-o. For the next 10 weeks, she and her 11 stunt doubles are playing tic-tac-toe at the Santa Ana Star Casino near Bernalillo.

But right now, the tic-tac-toe-playing chickens are in their air-conditioned trailer behind the casino, waiting for their turn to be the star of the $25,000 Chicken Challenge.

"One of them must be laying an egg," said Bunky Boger, 71, the chicken's trainer, over a burst of cackling. "They all get excited when one of them lays an egg."

Boger disappears into a room in the 30-foot trailer and returns cradling Chicken No. 67 in his arms, a white hen who will be playing O to some human's X for the next hour or so. …

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