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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Show Chickens.... in a box

I know I said I was taking it easy today, but I just saw something that wouldn't wait to be blogged about.

I went to the post office to mail some stuff for work and as I'm walking across the parking lot I see a lady with her two little boys carrying some funny looking boxes. The side of the box said.....


LIVE BIRDS
Before I say anything else I have to point out a few very important details.
  • I live in Alabama.
  • It's about 70 degrees today.
  • That's just a little on the warm side.
  • She's MAILING CHICKENS.

That last fact jumps a little ahead but it's still really important to this here story. Please excuse the southern dialect slipping in there.. them dang show chickens done got me all countrified. (Proper enunciation and grammar usage will promptly return upon publication of this post!)

So.. I look at the box, the the lady, then the box again and I just can't control curiosity so I ask. "You can really mail live birds?" To which she replies, looking a bit uncomfortable, "Yea". That's it, just yea. Well I'm nothing if not inquisitive so my questioning continues.

Me: "It's really hot here, they don't molt or die being mailed?"

Lady: "No, we ship them over-night so they'll arrive by noon tomorrow"

Me: "So like is there a little perch or something in there for them to sit on?"

Lady: looking really embarrassed "This is so embarrassing. They're chickens"

Me: blank stare, raised eyebrow "Chickens?"

Lady: "Yea"

Me: totally aware she's mortified at having boxed chickens at the post office, but too intrigued to be kind enough to let her suffer in silence. "Do you guys live on a farm or something?"

Lady: "Uh well no. My husband raises chickens to show"

Me: looks at the box again, then back to the lady "I'm sorry did you say show? Show chickens? Like Show Dogs?"

Lady: "Yea, it's my husband's thing, but he works so he can't ship them. God this is so embarrasing"

I'm starting to be really amused by this whole shipping show chickens thing and am doing my best not to laugh. I know the poor lady is just mortified, but I'm genuinely interested so of course I keep asking questions.

Me: "So like, um what qualifications do uhh judges look for in... (I have a hard time getting the words out with out laughing, but I succeed) show chickens? Is it beek color, wing span..?"

Lady: looking like she wishes a whole would spring open and she'd fall through it, or possibly wishing it would swallow me "They judge on beek color, wing color.. it depends on the breed and sex"

Me: "I have officially landed in the south"

Lady: "Where are you from"

Me: "I moved to Alabama from Michigan, but I grew up in Mississippi and never heard of (the words keep getting caught in me throat) show chickens"

Lady: laughs - sort of

Me: "I'm so going to have to blog about this"

Lady: looks at me like I've just sprouted a second head and 8 sets of eyes

Me: "It's ok.. I've only had about 1,400 hits since January"

Lady: "OMG I'm going to KILL my husband, this is the last time I'm doing this!"

Me: "So I guess since you raise them to show you probably don't eat them huh"

Lady: "Oh No!"

Me: "My mom used to tell us stories about growing up on the farm, cutting chickens heads off and watching them run around neck flapping"

Lady: looks mortified

As I mentioned at the beginning she has 2 boys with her. I'd guess them to be around 3 and 5 or 5 yrs old. Adorable little guys with light brown hair and huge dark brown eyes. Very friendly.

Son #1: I have some for pets

Lady: "Oh my Lord don't tell her that! Just don't say anything."

She's being a really good sport about the whole thing. By now people in line, and there was a longgggg line, are picking up bits and pieces of the conversation and are starting to eye the boxes on the ground that her sons keep sliding forward as the line moves.

Me: "You're lucky I didn't bring my phone in with me or I'd just have to take a picture of this!"

Somewhere in the conversation she mentions that it will cost about $50 to ship each chicken and that people pay two, sometimes three times that amount to buy a good show chicken, so I start thinking - hey I can help her husband and promote the word on my blog! Who knows, one of my readers just might be a chicken show'er looking for a good hen. So I ask her if her husband has a company name for his chicken business.

Me: "So does your husband have a company name for his show chicken business?"

Lady: "No, not really, just Halls Family I guess. Well not the whole Halls Family"

Me: laughing "Halls Family minus the mom & two kids?"

Lady: "Oh no, the oldest one here loves it"

The line is finally starting to move and she starts looking for the forms she'll need to fill out in order to ship her chickens. Her husband's chickens I mean.

Eager to hear more about this show chicken business I offer to keep an eye on the kids so she can go over to the counter and work on the forms. She says thanks, tells the boys to stay in line and behave then moves a few feet over to the forms counter.

In my conversation with the oldest Halls boy I found out that he has 3 pet chickens. Their names are Sweetie, Rocky and Rosie. I ask how he can tell if they are boys or girls so he knows how to name them. He tells me you can tell by the thing on their head.

I find out that although he gets to watch when his dad feeds the chickens, he's not actually allowed to help. He also tells me that he got bit or I guess that would be pecked, once on the leg. He was trying to steal the chicken's egg.

Sadly it was soon my turn in line and I had no reason to hang around and ask more questions so I said by to the lady and her sweet boys.. and the chickens.

Suprisingly there seem to be many things judges look for when judging show chickens. You can click here for a website that shows some of them. It's pretty interesting reading.

It's 5pm so I'm going to wrap this up.

Good night and BaKawk!!

2 People who coughed on a furball:

Donna said...

I never knew!!!
Although I have a friend that sells horses on line and I had to pick at him about how much the shipping would be to mail them lol

Vanessa G said...

LMAO! OMGosh you are sooo mean! I thought I'd choke laughing at this! =)