Ivor siblings again bring animals to fair

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amanda Gowins, 17, holds a cage door open for her 15-year-old brother, Connor, as he puts a rooster back in its cage at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday. Looking on at left is their sister, 13-year-old Holly. -- Charlie Passut | Tidewater News

COURTLAND—Visitors to the 2010 Franklin-Southampton County Fair may see some familiar young faces when checking out the rabbit and poultry exhibits.

The Gowins children —Amanda, 17, Connor, 15, and Holly, 13 — are back this year, and have brought several cages of prized roosters, chickens, rabbits and a goat from their farm in Ivor.

“This is our fourth year coming to this fair,” Connor said. “We generally come to this one.”

The Gowins are the children of Tim and Carolyn Gowins and live on 1.5 acres. Together they raise goats, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

Many of their animals are prizewinners. Of the chickens that they brought to the fair, four won the coveted blue, first-place ribbons. Another four chickens were awarded second-place ribbons, and they had one chicken each win ribbons for third, fourth, fifth and sixth places. Two more chickens were awarded seventh-place ribbons.

The Gowins’ rabbits also won prizes. There were three second-place winners, three third-place winners, two received fourth-place ribbons and there was one rabbit to each win a fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place ribbon.

“We’ve entered rabbits and chickens the last several years,” Amanda said while surveying the family’s rows of cages. “This is our first year entering goats.”

The Gowins kids said that although living on a farm is a lot of work, they each hope to live on a farm when they grew up.

“We generally start at 7 a.m. to milk the goats, and to feed all of our different chickens and rabbits,” Amanda said. “Then we do any other chores that need doing. We keep the animals on a pasture rotation with a portable electric fence. We’ll have them in one place for awhile and then we’ll move the fence so that they get fresh grass all the time.”

Asked what they thought of the fair so far, Amanda said, “It’s smaller than usual, but it’s still fun.”