updated 5/11/2005 6:12:04 AM ET 2005-05-11T10:12:04

Linc and Helena Moore may have finally learned the answer to that age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

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Because the chicken doesn’t know jaywalking is illegal.

Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy J. Nicholson does know, however. The deputy issued a ticket March 26 because one of the couple’s chickens allegedly impeded traffic in Johannesburg, a rural mining community near Ridgecrest, some 220 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The Moores were in Superior Court on Friday to plead not guilty. A trial was scheduled for May 16.

Couple says ticket could be retaliation
Nicholson has declined to discuss the matter, but sheriff’s Sgt. Francis Moore said chickens on the roadway have been a problem in the community of 50 residents. Officials didn’t believe it could be resolved by simply issuing the couple a warning.

“Sometimes you have to let people talk to the judge,” he said.

The chicken’s owners say they believe they were cited because they were among several people who complained that sheriff’s deputies haven’t done enough to control off-road vehicle riders who create dust and noise in their neighborhood.

Sheriff’s officials say that isn’t so, adding they are doing what they can to keep off-roaders away from homes.

“The chicken thing has nothing to do with the motorcycle thing,” Moore said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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