A member of the Green Acres 4-H club for the past five years, Gavin Eeg’s project has been poultry. And, he’s taken a real liking’ to these feathery critters.
He explained, “I like chickens more than cows which my sister, Marin, shows. If a cow steps on your foot it hurts; if a chicken does, it’s not going to hurt at all. And it doesn’t cost as much to raise chickens.”
Twelve-year-old Gavin is the son of Garner and Sara Eeg of rural Greenbush.
This year Gavin first showed his Australorp breed of three chickens at the Roseau County Fair where they were judged in the breeding pen class.
Australorps are known to be calm and friendly and excellent layers of light brown eggs.
The trio included the rooster named King, and two hens, Henrietta and Hennessey.
Earning a reserve ribbon in showmanship and a reserve ribbon on the pen class, qualified Gavin and his chickens for a first-time trip to the State Fair the latter part of August.
“Hens are judged on their similarities,” he stated. “Roosters are judged on their appearance. The judges also ask a lot of questions and you need to have good answers.”
The poultry gets all ‘prettied up’ for such occasions. First comes the bath, which is in three stages. In the first tub, a mild soap is added to the water so it gets nice and foamy. In the second tub the bird is rinsed off in plain water. It is then placed in the third tub of a mixture of vinegar and water for an extra ‘shine’. Next comes the use of a high-powered blow dryer to dry them off. To make the rooster’s comb redden up, ‘Vet Rx’ is applied. ‘Clean Sheen’ is also put on the birds feathers, their feet are cleaned with a tooth brush, and a light oil is applied to their legs.
Gavin was delighted when he was awarded a blue ribbon.
To see more of this story, read the September 7 edition of The Tribune in print or online.