Chicken swap

Published 10:13 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

COURTLAND—The sound of clucking could be heard at Shands Shopping Center on June 19.

That’s because the semiannual Chicken Swap was under way for local and out-of-town folks to buy, sell and swap chickens. It was held in connection with “Pet Chickens of Virginia,” a group of chicken enthusiasts that network to socialize and “talk chickens,” while providing education and resources for the care of chickens.

Swap organizer Dawn Holland of Courtland said customer turnout was good.

“It’s really nice,” said chicken swap newcomer Brad Price. “You get to meet a lot of nice people. You can exchange information and advice. We all kind of have a common interest.”

Price owns 60 chickens, varying from Rhode Island Reds to White Delawares. At the swap, he bought cochins, which he said are like pets.

First-time swap attendee Theresa Erskine said she met Holland and her husband, Jimmy, at another swap and they invited her to this one. Erskine has been raising chickens for six years and coming to swaps for three years.

She uses online advertising to spread the word about chicken swaps and meets people from as far away as Richmond. Erskine lives in North Carolina, but plans to come back for the next swap here.

These swaps aren’t only exclusive to chickens. Other animals may include rabbits, guineas, ducks and goats.

There is no charge to participate, but Erskine joked that she makes as much as she spends at a swap.

Some chicks sold for $5, and people usually buy at least two. Many of the buyers were longtime owners of chickens, but some were new to raising them and looked to others at the swap for advice and tips.

“Our fall swap last year drew about 20 vendors so we are hoping to do the same or better this fall, Oct. 13, when we will feature chickens, guineas, turkeys, rabbits and other small animals, as well as gourds and pumpkins and other fall items,” Dawn Holland said.

The next swap also will be held at Shands Shopping Center.

Vendors with questions may call Dawn Holland at 653-1219.