Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fowl Play

We spent the day at the Pacific Poultry Breeders Association 65th Annual Show in Stockton, California. What a wonderful day it was. There were so many beautiful breeds of poultry and some very exotic breeds too. My absolute favorite breed of chicken is the Phoenix. The roosters can have tail feathers up to twenty feet long, if they are cared for especially well. We didn't see any with tail feathers that long but there were some beautiful roosters and they caught my eye the moment we walked into the show. We also spent some time with a wonderful young Brazilian Asil rooster. He was extremely friendly and calm. The Asil or Aseel are one of the more rare breeds in our country and have been used extensively for cock fighting in other countries. They are very aggressive toward other chickens and birds in general but they are very trusting and gentle to humans. The young rooster we held and visited was so sweet and literally wanted us to continue to spend time with him. I have never been very fond of the look of the modern game birds but after today my opinion of them has changed. I can see where they would make wonderful 4H showmanship birds or pets if they were housed by themselves. It was hard to say goodbye to the big guy but there were a lot of birds to see before the day was over so we gave him one more little gentle scratch under his beak and headed off to see as many other breeds as we could before going home. The best part of the day for me was when we were standing inside the huge warehouse like building of the fairgrounds in which all of the bantam breeds were being shown. Sometime earlier in the day a pigeon had escaped and was hiding in the rafters. I don't know if the pigeon was intentionally flying over the huge assemblage of cages below, playfully terrorizing all the caged birds, or if it was just trying to find a way out, but every time it took flight there was a resounding overture from all the chickens below. It was like a wave building in intensity as a resonant plea would start at one end of the great hall and roll to the other in a sonorous warning. Obviously there were a few chickens who equated pigeon with hawk and their panic and confusion was contagious. I shouldn't laugh at the little birds gripped with terror but the sounds they made were hilarious... “Lord, I apologize to you and all the little pygmy bantams in Stockton...”

Phoenix Rooster from today

Aseel rooster from (

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