By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Why did the chicken cross the road? Maybe it was to get to the Roosevelt County Bantam Show.
Organizer Steven Beaty said he’s expecting about 300 bantam, or miniature, chickens, and ducks from four states, even as far away as Kentucky.
The show, which is occurring independently of the county fair for the first time, is free and open to the public.
“You’ll probably never see so many different colors and feathers and birds as at this show,” Beaty said.
He said some of the best breeders would participate.
“Kids get a kick out of the chickens and especially the ducks,” he added.
People can look at the birds, but Beaty asks that during judging, they wait to walk down the aisles between cages. He expects birds to be offered for sale as well as for competition.
The Floyd High School senior class and inmates from the Roosevelt County Detention Center helped set up cages in the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Beaty said the senior class would receive any profits from entry fees, and he was impressed with the men who came from the detention center.
Beaty has about 200 bantam chickens himself and has shown from New York to Florida to California. He started the activity at age 16, but quit to raise a family several years later.
However, when retirement from his job as Portales fire chief freed up time, Beaty returned to poultry shows in 2002. He said the birds have personalities and it’s fun to get them in good condition and compare them to others of their kind.
“They’re easy to keep in the backyard; they’re great for eggs,” Beaty said. “I don’t eat them.”
Roosevelt County Cooperative Extension Agent Patrick Kircher, who has raised bantam chickens, said the quality of birds at the show should be impeccable.
“It’ll be a neat weekend to see a lot of neat birds,” he said.