XENIA — The poultry barn July 30 was alive with myriad clucks, quacks and cock-a-doodle-doos during the Greene County Fair’s annual poultry show.
Judge Larry Lokai, “The Buckeye Man,” observed the birds in search of meat and egg production, among other items.
“One part of my job is judging, the other part is educating,” Lokai said.
But it’s not all about meats and markets. For Emily Stovall, 16, of the Creative Christian Clovers, her birds are like friends.
“It’s nice to have them be able to depend on me,” she said. “When I’m upset, I can go out spend time with them and they’ll sit on my lap. I depend on them too.”
She is in her seventh year of showing, caring for rabbits, chickens and ducks, even overseeing a batch of eggs hatch. She lets them roam free during the day, even allowing her ducks to take a dip in the pool with her but locks them up at night. The winter season, she said, is most challenging to care for her animals.
“I think more people should be [involved],” Stovall said. “There’s not as many [participants] as there used to be.”
She became interested in 4-H on her own, but at the time didn’t live in an area that would allow her to have farm animals. However, she has since moved. Her parents, Jeremy and Carrie Stovall, said while keeping the chickens and ducks call for “a lot of work and a lot of noise,” it is still fulfilling to the family.
“Ducks are more like friends, chickens are more independent,” Stovall said. “At the end of the day, they’re best friends. The chickens and ducks follow each other around.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.
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