updated 4/29/2008 1:42:46 PM ET 2008-04-29T17:42:46

A ritzy high rise is a fashionable address for some recent arrivals to the city: A batch of tiny chicks.

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The superintendent of the building near United Nations headquarters said he uses a makeshift basement pen as a temporary home for mail-order critters that are destined for his upstate farm.

"I'm raising chickens because I plan to retire," the 62-year-old super, John Hyranyaz, told the New York Post for a story in Tuesday's editions.

On Monday, there were dozens of variously colored chicks, some yellow, some mottled, in the plywood-and-duct-tape pen.

But Hyranyaz denied raising animals at the building. "Everyone sees them, so they think I'm raising them," he said.

Instead, Hyranyaz said the little critters get to stay at his apartment only for a day or so before he transports them to his farm in Binghamton. "I got bunnies. I got chicks. I got geese. I live here. I get them all the time."

The building at 100 United Nations Plaza is home to many diplomats, and some of its two-bedroom condos are advertised at up to $1.8 million.

The Health Department told the newspaper it was not illegal to keep chickens in the city, only roosters.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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