We know that chickens are an increasingly popular backyard addition. Some Menlo Park residents have even turned what began as a hobby into a small business (Little Cluckers). But we were nevertheless startled to see a rooster and two hens pecking away at seeds on the front sidewalk of a west Menlo home. Thinking that the homeowner might want to know that his/her chickens had “flown the coop,” we stopped and had a good conversation with Gary, who showed off his complete backyard operation, which included a coop that’s a miniature of the home. And yes, all escapees were returned successfully to the safety of the fenced backyard.