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Playing chicken: CSRA Poultry Fair brings feathered friends from several states to town

Will Richards used the CSRA Poultry Show to expand his feathered menagerie.

chicken6.jpg

A chicken pokes its head out of a cage during the CSRA Poultry Show Saturday.
 Click here for more photos

"I've already started raising them," said the 10-year-old from Thomson.

He bought two chickens from breeders Saturday during the show at the Thomson Lions Club Fairground. He said he plans to enter a few of his 10 chickens in the county fair in April.

More than 70 breeders from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Alabama entered 727 chickens -- and a couple of ducks -- in various breed classes during the annual show, according to organizers.

"We've got quite a few birds that we show," said Wanda Simmons of Flordia, who brought her four children and 45 birds to the competition.

Ralph Sheriff traveled to Thomson from North Carolina with his truckload of Sebright Bantams. He's been traveling to the CSRA Poultry Show for years now, including the first one in Augusta.

"I probably go to eight or 10 shows a year now," he said.

Jimmy Long of Monroe, N.C., has learned to stack the deck in competitions. For the Thomson show, he brought nine of his own birds and 13 for a friend, entering in several different classes.

"You stand a chance of doing something with something," he said, as he stroked one of his Brassybacks. "If the judges don't like one kind, maybe they'll like something else."

For five-year-old Dylan Bryant, the CSRA Poultry Show was his first opportunity to show the world his favorite Black Cochin Standard chicken. And the youngster from Hartwell, Ga., earned the Champion Large Foul trophy in the junior show.

"He's just tickled pink," said his father.

Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce Director Carolyn Gilbert strolled around the display area Saturday and was thrilled with the turnout for the show.

"I didn't realize there were this many different kinds of chickens," she said. "This brings a lot of people to Thomson. That's good for the restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses."



Web posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004


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