Chicken Whisperer

chickenWhisperer350It’s not that I don’t like the animal called CHICKEN. It is just that I thought we could live contentedly without them to tend to. I certainly could. She certainly could not.

And so, since I only seem to hold 49% (or less) in this corporation, we have chickens. And so having them to cluck after on an hourly basis (I watch, she clucks) I have to make the best of it and enjoy the zoology if not the husbandry of herding chickens.

We obtained these from some neighbor-friends. We have five young birds: two Black-Copper Marans that literally rule the roost and not quite won over to our close contact, and three Easter-Egger / Dorking mixes–two blonds and a brunette.

The two blondies are Laverne and Shirley. They were quick to make friends. I hunker down in a squat, and one or both jump onto my knee, or lately, my shoulder or the top of my head.  Laverne here was giving me an ear-full. (More poultry portraiture soon.)

So if you drive down our road and find a grown man squatting inside a cage, adorned in chickens, you have found the Chicken Whisperer of Goose Creek working his magic. (I wear a cap when I whisper, just in case there might be a little chicken accident while Laverne presides up top.)

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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