July 29 (UPI) -- A Texas man has become a neighborhood celebrity for taking his pet chickens out for daily walks.
Milt Strong can be seen every morning wheeling one of his chickens down Katy Trail in Dallas in a crimson stroller to stay in shape and put smiles on people's faces.
"About three years ago I noticed people walking their dogs, small dogs in strollers. I started seeing a whole lot of goldendoodles, those expensive dogs. And I thought, 'I've got a cock-a-doodle,'" Strong, 69, told KXAS. "So I started pushing my little chicken."
He placed his chicken in the basket of an old children's push bike and what started out as a gag soon became a daily routine.
Strong eventually ditched the bike because it was too difficult to maneuver and became a neighborhood fixture, earning the nickname "Pollo Abuelo" or "Grandpa Chicken," the Dallas Morning News reported.
"Some people kind of look and look away, like they didn't see it and they don't want me to know they saw something," Strong said. "I get all kinds of reactions, but generally everybody smiles and that's what I like."
Strong's son, Josh Strong, said friends often send him photos of his father walking the trail and recalled his father has always had a love for chickens.
"We'd go out and scramble around, chasing for the chickens. This is the third batch of chickens he's had since I was born," Josh Strong, 38, said.
The elder Strong has a large chicken coop he dubbed the "Taj Ma-Chick" in his backyard that holds his nine hens.
He just recently resumed his daily chicken-walking routine after a number of health issues, including a quadruple bypass surgery in May, forced him to leave the chickens in the coop for more than a month.
"I will tell you, his chickens were madder than heck at him because he couldn't go out there. They quit laying eggs," Mary McLean, a friend of Strong's, said.
Strong was cleared to exercise again in July and has since returned to walking the trail with his chickens at least five days a week.
"I missed being out there. For a lot of reasons. The main one is, I feel better when I exercise," he said.