Yesterday may have dawned cloudy, cool and blustery, but the 2nd Annual Wise Chicks Chicken Coop Tour proved to be a fun, interesting, informative day, in spite of the weather. Attendance numbers are still being tallied, but I am confident in estimating at least 150 folks traveled the coop trail to gather information about chickens and their coops, question the accommodating coop owners about all things poultry, and, basically, enjoy a beautiful Texas Saturday. As the official Photography Chick of the event, I was all over the county, taking photos, visiting with coop owners, petting chickens and other animals, scoping out some awesome coops and appreciating the beautiful yards and gardens scattered throughout the Wise countryside.. What’s not to like about a day like that? (Well, I did not like yesterday’s wind. Thirty to forty miles per hour does more than ruffle my feathers, but otherwise, the day was beautiful.)
Here’s what I loved about the Wise Chicks Coop Tour:
Learning new stuff about chickens: The Chickens 101 seminar at the Decatur Public Library was informative and well-attended. The speaker shared general information, provided helpful links and answered one of the mysteries of chicken-raising.
Lots of activity on the Courthouse Square: Any event that draws people to the center of town is a good thing, right? Yesterday morning saw vendors and other groups gathering and setting up booths and tables on the Square. Saturday mornings on the courthouse square has deep roots in rural and small-town Texas, and being there yesterday morning created a satisfying sense of community.Marveling at a vast variety of chickens breeds: Although the Barred Rock seems to be the predominantly popular breed of the coops I visited, it seems Wise coop owners are adventurous in picking their chicken breeds. So many colors, sizes and dispositions. They all made me want to add to my ever-expanding chicken collection.Meeting interesting, creative, resourceful, hard-working folks: I love the fact that such a soft, feathery common thread as a chicken can bind together seemingly diverse individuals, giving them a shared interest. I met young families raising chickens as a family project, those for whom the chicken is a purely practical farm animal, and those like me, whose chickens add an aesthetic to their lives that’s difficult to explain. We raise ’em because we like ’em! But, we all want healthy, happy birds and we all work hard to provide the best care possible.
Visiting some beautiful yards and gardens: There was not a home on the tour that didn’t have some kind of beautiful landscape, be it a natural setting of mesquite, prickly pear, and wind-swept wildflowers or a creatively engineered landscape of timbers, limestone, cobbles and ornamental iron. Everyone’s yards were dressed in blooming finery. Honestly, I would rather tour yards, gardens and chicken coops than the interiors of model homes, any old day! So, in that respect, it was a great day.
Being amazed by some clever and inspired poultry house decorating: This wasn’t just a chicken coop tour; it was a Poultry Tour of Homes. The design, construction and decoration of the coops ranged from reclaimed, recycled materials…which meshes well with the eco-friendly sustainability factor of chicken-raising…to the newly-constructed-I-could-live-in-that garden homes for chickens. And, we can’t forget the chicken mobile homes. The ingenuity and resourcefulness exhibited by the coop owners on the tour was amazing.
Getting a great workout while trying to get the camera down to a chicken’s…or, rabbit’s…or, child’s level: I have no idea how many squats and planks I did yesterday, but my quads and glutes were feeling that wonderful after-burn this morning. That’s right; chicken coop touring will tone your butt! If you ever needed a reason to go out and look at poultry, there you have it.In addition to the coop owners, I met several nice coop tour-ists on the trail yesterday. A couple of them mentioned having read our little blog. That’s always fun to hear! One woman shared her story about the wonderfully calming effects that yoga has offered to a young family member living with Asperger’s syndrome. Another had nice things to say about all of Jo’s recipes. I am humbled by compliments and kind words regarding the photos and stories and information we share here on Women of Wise, and buoyed by the thought of sharing a little positive energy with you all. So, thanks for reading, thanks for sharing your stories, and thanks so much for any feedback you have to offer the Women of Wise.
Jo and I appreciate you, and wish you dozens of double-yoke eggs!