Rule of the roost

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Haas, Thacker take top awards


Haley Haas made her way down the narrow corridor with a crate of chickens in her hands and a large trophy under her arm.

As she made her way back to the holding chambers for the birds several of her competitors stopped to congratulate her on her grand champion market fowl.

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“It’s a pretty tight-knit competition,” Haas said as she sat her chickens back in their cages. “There are no hard feelings. Everyone wants to win but at the same time everyone is real nice and there is a sense of togetherness.”

Haas was in her third market fowl competition. Each year the 2014 champion improved her stock or maybe in this case, her flock.

“The first year I got third place in my class,” she said. “Then last year I was reserve champion. So each year I’ve improved and learned from the year before.”

The improvement by Haas serves as encouragement for her stiffest competition, Wyatt Thacker, reserve champion.

“This was my first time so I think it feels really good to be the reserve champion,” Thacker said. “But next year I’m gunning for the grand championship.”

Both Thacker and Haas said that the most important thing to raising quality market fowl is making sure the birds always have plenty of food and clean water.

“You have to make sure they constantly have food and water,” Haas said. “I like to make sure they have a high protein diet. Getting plenty of exercise is important, too.”

The competitors in the market fowl competition raise the chickens for about five weeks starting with baby chicks with fluffy yellow feathers.

“They grow a lot in that five-week span,” Haas said. “Now they are full grown, and their yellow feathers have turned white.”

Haas represented Farm Hands 4-H and Thacker Canter’s Cave 4-H in the competition.