Have you hugged your chicken today?

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Oct 03, 2012 - 12:50 PM

Photo: Stacy Turner feeds her friends cooked noodles twice a day. It’s their favorite food. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Stacy Turner feeds her friends cooked noodles twice a day. It’s their favorite food. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Photo: Six eggs a day make for good cooking and special breakfasts. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Six eggs a day make for good cooking and special breakfasts. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

This story is not about just ordinary chickens, their friend and owner, and the eggs they present. This is about six very fortunate chickens, Saphire, Lena, Lucy, Henrietta, Lilly and Elsie, and their friend and caretaker Stacy Turner.

Stacy, who is from California but came to Virginia at an early age because her family was from the Old Dominion, is not a farm girl and never has been, but her husband Wayne grew up on a farm. With his experience, they decided to raise a few hens.

The Turners have been coming to Mathews on a part-time basis for 17 years but have resided full-time at Sanctuary for seven years. They settled into their home on Stutts Creek in the Redart area.

The chicken is a fowl that was domesticated about 8,000 years ago; but what these six chicken ladies reside in cannot be called a coop. A house maybe, but a home named Le Poulet Hotel describes it much better. Their roosting room and laying quarter’s wall is attractively decorated with appropriate wooden plaques displaying chicken scenes, and it is fully air-conditioned and heated. It features a dusk-to-dawn automatic door—a door that opens at dawn, closes as the evening approaches. A picture-size window at one end allows a perfect view of whatever the action is in the nesting area. Also included is an open penned-in area that allows the ladies their day in the sun, roaming and mingling.

They are happy. The three breeds—Australorps Saphire and Lena—lay dark brown eggs, Ameraucanas Lucy and Henrietta lay green eggs, and Copper Marans Lilly and Elsie lay light brown eggs—have no problem getting along. However, they may run over each other trying to get to the pasta noodles they they are served twice a day.