Kennesaw State's Big Chicken mascot rules the roost


Honor recognizes Georgia's growing poultry industry

MARIETTA, Ga. (Apr 1, 2018) — Kennesaw State University paid homage to Georgia’s growing poultry industry today with the naming of the Big Chicken as its new mascot. The towering figure, located at the northeast corner of the Marietta Campus on U.S. Hwy. 41, will be repainted in the school’s traditional black and gold colors to help visitors better navigate the road to higher education.

In selecting an Orpington chicken, school officials chose a breed that exhibits a plumage of beautiful black feathers over its original yellow-gold skin. These highly intelligent birds originated in England in 1886. William Cook, who is credited by many as having been the first to breed to the fowl, later experimented with different colors but none would prove as popular as the striking all-black bird.

In making the selection of the Big Chicken as its mascot, Kennesaw State officials noted that poultry constitutes the largest segment of Georgia’s agriculture, larger than peanuts or cotton. Annual per capita of chicken has been growing in the state and across the nation. Today, each person in the United States consumes some 81.4 lbs. of chicken, according to the Georgia Poultry Federation.

Sturgis, the Eurasian eagle owl, will continue to serve as the university’s live mascot. A familiar beak at home athletic competitions, he is named after the university's first president, Horace Sturgis.

In honor of today’s announcement, both Stingers and The Commons campus-restaurants will serve made-to-order Orpington omelets during breakfast and have declared this Thursday to be “All You Can Eat Fried Chicken Tenders Thursday.” Students are encouraged to bring a large brown bag for all their leftovers.

In breaking the news early today about KSU’s Big Chicken mascot, officials said they hoped to avoid laying an egg – since it is April Fools’ Day.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit