Tag / showing chickens

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Magical Chickens

Jan Brett’s entries

One of the wonderful things I spoke of in my last post was networking and meeting people that love their chickens just as much as me.  Many people know of Jan Brett, the magnificent illustrator and author of numerous globe trotting children’s books.  With her amazing attention to the smallest of details, her lovely stories and meticulous illustrations are downright magical.

I had known that Jan Brett was also a fellow chicken keeper and raised show quality Polish Hens.  I also knew that she loved to share the joy of chickens with children.  When I attended the Boston Poultry Expo last month, I had hoped to catch a glimpse of Jan Brett.  I never did see her, but I did meet someone who knew of her.  I met a pre-adolescent girl, whom I will call Kay, and her mother.  As Kay was busy chatting and running around with fellow younger poultry exhibitors, I had a chance to speak to Kay’s mother about the transformation that chicken keeping had brought to her daughter’s life.  With much help, love, and guidance from Jan Brett, Kay was learning life’s lessons through her favorite chicken, Jasmine. Kay was transforming into a well-spoken articulate young lady with a wonderful sense of self and accomplishment.  It was lovely meeting them and I knew that I would not forget them.

This past weekend at the Congress, I saw Jan Brett.  I even went over and politely introduced myself and thanked her for sharing her love of chickens with the children.  She surely did not know what to think of me, but I always feel it is important to let others know when they are making huge positive changes in people’s lives without sometimes realizing the magnitude themselves.  We spoke for a few moments and then she was off, busy discovering that one of her Polish Hens had won!

As the day was winding down, my highlight was running into Kay.  It had been months since I had seen her and I even noticed more changes.  She was more mature and bubbling over with an immense sense of pride and enthusiasm.  I was giddy just being with her.  I was reunited with Jasmine and met two other Polish chickens, including Solomon, that she was showing in the Junior Exhibitor’s category.  I could immediately see the love between these too.  He was docile.  He was gentle.  He was melted butter in Kay’s hands.  She could not control her feelings and naturally kept showering him with kisses.  She even insisted that Solomon sit on my shoulder.  I too was butter in Kay’s hands.  I felt so much pride in knowing her!

As I exited the show, I walked past the sale area.  I passed geese, baby bunnies and a few rows of chickens.  Mid-row, I came to an area with barn red poultry cages and Polish Hens for sale.  It was Folkloric Bantams.  They were for sale.  Some chickens were show quality and some were pet quality.  I soon realized from the sign, that these were Jan Brett’s.  Most cages now stood empty.  This could only mean one thing.  I am sure more children have embarked on a new journey of raising some of Jan Brett’s magical chickens.  These magical chickens help make you believe in yourself and accomplish wonderful things surprising even the most skeptical of grown-ups.

This post is linked up to Homestead Revival’s Homestead Barnhop.

Photo Credits:  Tilly’s Nest


Boston Poultry Expo

I had never been to a poultry show before and I was incredibly excited to attend one.  The Boston Poultry Expo was located west of Boston, closer to Worcester, Massachusetts.  With my directions in hand, I exited off the Mass Pike and twisted along on Ennis Road;  fresh with New England scenery.  I soon arrived at Four Wind Farms.  As I entered the exhibit hall, I was greeted by a large ice sculpture.  Upon it sat eggs, that the exhibit birds had laid earlier that morning.

The exhibit hall was full of tables set in rows with numerous cages resting on top.  Each cage had it’s own small feed and water cup with pine shavings on the floor.  The poultry transportation cages were tucked neatly underneath the exhibit tables.


I am not entirely sure why I assumed that a poultry show would not be noisy. Perhaps, these birds were somehow refined.  On the contrary, it was very noisy!  Roosters, ducks and turkeys continually called out and letting their presence be known.  Amazingly gorgeous birds were everywhere.

The judges took their time.  Hours upon hours they inspected the birds both visually and physically.  Some decisions seemed straightforward and other too complex for this novice to understand.  The judge on the right has been raising poultry for most of his life.

There was a lovely award ceremony at the end which included trophies and cash prizes. 

Soon enough, it was time to pack up everyone and say goodbye.

I had a wonderful time at my first poultry show.  I loved seeing new breeds and meeting fellow chicken lovers and breeders.  However, my favorite part was meeting the children and hearing about their chickens.  I complimented one mother on her daughter’s behavior and enthusiasm for the show.  She told me that her daughter had a difficult time finding her niche.  A few years back at a show, they met Jan Brett, the childrens’ author, who raises and shows chickens.  She had introduced them to keeping and showing chickens.  Jan had served as an inspiration to this little girl and made a huge difference in her life.  Today, this little girl has many chickens.  Raising and showing them has become her niche. I am a firm believer that animals can be magical, especially chickens.
Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest