Chickens swap hands at monthly event

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Valerie Rountree of Suffolk stands next her chicken presentation during a Saturday swap meet at Tractor Supply in Franklin. -- Hattie Francis | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Valerie Rountree tries to attend as many chicken swap meets as possible in Franklin and Courtland, just like she did on Saturday at Tractor Supply on Armory Drive.

Halfway through the Franklin event, the Suffolk woman, who raises chickens, sold eight silkies at $10 a piece.

“The kids love silkies because they are really docile and friendly chickens,” Rountree said. “They are unique because their features don’t have barbicels, so it’s not like a hard feature like a regular chicken. It’s like silk or fur, so of course, the kids love them.”

A non-profit group known as Pet Chickens of Virginia participates in the swap meets at Tractor Supply. The group holds similar events in Farmville, Gloucester, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Powhatan.

“Usually once a month we try to have a chicken swap,” said store Manager Deb Smith. “All the local people come out to sell chickens or buy chickens. When it gets hot, like July, we don’t have it because of the animals.”

The next one is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Tractor Supply also partners with Bear Path Acres Zoo and Animal Education Center in Southampton County to help educate the community on wildlife.