Labor Day weekend in Washington County, Ohio means the Washington County Fair, which provides the best opportunity all year to view obscure breeds of domestic chickens. These birds are raised by local farmers and 4-H kids and brought to the fair to compete for prizes. They live for the five days of the fair in small cages suspended at about waist height. Below the cages, piles of poop-absorbing sawdust are scattered (and blessedly changed regularly).
Every year we spend an hour or more looking at the chickens. Sometimes the notion of keeping some chickens on our farm rises in our brains. Then the reality of our coon-and-possum-and-weasel-filled woods settles in and we decided it's better just to enjoy these lovely beasts vicariously.
Here are some of this year's best-looking cluckers.