PHOTOS AND TEXT BY SUSAN S. SCOTT
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
April 27, 2016
Rock’n Doodle 4-H Club sponsored its 7th annual Chicken Coop Tour on April 23, 2016, not only to show the diversity of styles in raising chickens, but to be sure everyone had a fun adventure together.
The Clucky Show featuring local performer Matt Hoar entertained visitors at the Huckleberry Berry Hollow in Clinton.
Two 4-H members with their chickens after the talent show.
The tour also serves as a fund-raiser for the 4-H clubs, helping them take care of the barns they use at the Island County Fair each year. There are about thirty different clubs on the island, each focusing on the interests of their members. Most of the clubs focus on farming and raising animals, but a few are dedicated to teen leadership, crafts, photography, even robotics.
4-H members who raise goats, help out the Rock’n Doodle club with hosting at James Myers and Kristy Oliver’s home in Greenbank.
Chicken coop designed and built by James Myers to look like a dollhouse with its flower boxes and shingled roof. It has a “nanny cam” inside to be sure his hens are safe at night.
4-H members enjoy educating the community as they learn new skills themselves. During the tour participants are asked to use the antiseptic spray they provide so that germs are not carried between chicken coop sites.
Several 4-H-ers spritz the bottoms of my shoes before and after visiting the coops.
The chickens at Sherren’s Glassworks in Clinton huddle under their coop while it rains.
A rooster is being shy while he awaits adoption.
Even the very youngest have a job to do in 4-H. Membership includes boys and girls between 5 and 18 years old.
Mentoring, a significant aspect of the 4-H experience was exemplified by Jerry Lloyd of Greenbank, who demonstrated how to train animals using a clicker and food reward.
Ranger the Rooster chooses the King of Hearts each time his owner, Jerry Lloyd, makes different arrangements of the playing cards.
Mother and child watch the farm animals together.
Small cowgirl learns how to feed the chickens.
Well-tended chickens produce delicious eggs!
By the end of the Tour, I could see that the Rock’n Doodle 4-H club, along with the mentors, families, and chicken coop builders had come together to have fun, learn, be of service, and inspire a good quality of life on our rural island. It reminded me of the 4-H pledge: “My head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
Susan Scott, photographer and author, enjoys daily explorations of Whidbey Island and catching glimpses of extraordinary moments of ordinary life with her camera. www.susanscottphd.com.
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