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Agriculture

Beaks On Fleek: Meet This Town’s ‘Prettiest Chickens’

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Luke Runyon
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Harvest Public Media
Pasty, a Laced Polish hen, took home the award for Prettiest Plumage.

Chickens aren't a traditional pet. But with chicken coops springing up in more and more urban and suburban backyards, some owners take just as much pride in their poultry as their dog or cat. So much so that they're primping and preening them for beauty contests.

That was the case one sweltering Sunday afternoon in Fort Collins, Colorado, at Wolverine Farm’s Letterpress & Publick House. As part of a series of what the owner Todd Simmons says are “silly animal contests,” contestants submit their finest hens and roosters for the chance to win the beauty contest. Some of the urban chickens performed tricks -- one pale-feathered rooster named Bruce pretended to sleep on command -- while others donned costumes, like Miss Felicia Fancy Feet’s emerald green hat.

“You hear people talk about chickens just like they’d talk about any of their other pets,” Simmons says. “They’re excited about their different breeds and their different personalities. I think people have really been expanding their knowledge of the breeds they know, the Rhode Island Reds, the Leghorns, the Barred Rocks, and getting into some of the more exotic breeds.”

The 2016 Best In Show, Agnes.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
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Harvest Public Media
The 2016 Best In Show, Agnes.

Best in Show went to an Easter Egger named Agnes. For consolation prizes, other chickens pulled in “Loveliest Legs,” “Best Dressed,” and “Coolest Cluck.” The 2016 Prettiest Chicken contest was the inaugural event, but Simmons says the hope is to make it a recurring contest.

This chicken, a Polish crested hen named chicken, listed her favorite activity as 'chasing chihuahuas.'
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
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Harvest Public Media
This chicken, a Polish crested hen named chicken, listed her favorite activity as 'chasing chihuahuas.'
Miss Felicia Fancy Feet, a buff brahma hen, came to the contest dressed in a handmade green hat.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
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Harvest Public Media
Miss Felicia Fancy Feet, a buff brahma hen, came to the contest dressed in a handmade green hat.
Cale Whicker with Miss Felicia Fancy Feet displaying their award for the competition's Best Dressed chicken.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
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Harvest Public Media
Cale Whicker with Miss Felicia Fancy Feet displaying their award for the competition's Best Dressed chicken.
Jeff, one of a handful of roosters in the contest, shows off his red comb and auburn feathers.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
/
Harvest Public Media
Jeff, one of a handful of roosters in the contest, shows off his red comb and auburn feathers.

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