Recently I stumbled upon a notice for the Uniontown Poultry Association‘s Fall Show. Thinking it would be a great place to capture some bird sounds, I called and asked if the the association would allow me to capture some ringtones. My contact was Krista Martin, a Washington County resident and member of the association since 2005. She gave me the low-down on the schedule for the weekend–judging on Saturday; and an auction, a visit from the UPA mascot, Big Chicken, and an awards ceremony on Sunday. I headed out to the Fayette County Fairgrounds on Saturday October 15th, with an assistant in tow, thinking it would be the quieter day of the weekend–better for capturing good audio and visiting with people.
THE POULTRY HALL TONE & ROOSTER CROW ALERT
The first in this six-tone series is the Uniontown Poultry Association’s Poultry Hall Tone. In it, you’ll hear roosters crowing, hens clucking, chickens scratching, and faintly, folks “speaking chicken” in the background. For good measure, I’ve prepared this Rooster Crow Alert–because who wouldn’t want a rooster to announce their incoming text or picture messages? During our visit we also picked up some great geese and turkey-gobble sounds, with the help of other Association members and/or show competitors. And we captured some lovely bird calls from a couple of fellows who are part of the association. Throughout the week, I’ll post additional tones. To read more about Krista and her chickens, and to see more pictures from our visit to the fall show, scroll down.
Did you know there are over 60 breeds of chickens (and 175 varieties)? Or that a hen lays an egg about every 26-28 hours? The birds in the Fall Show (and, surprise! bunnies–maybe because they supposedly taste like chicken?) were plentiful, stylish (check out Svetlana’s plumage), beautiful and soft.
Krista, who makes a living doing legal research, had always wanted to have chickens. “It was a family experience, and a way of life for us–my parents raised chickens and so I’ve always wanted to have them.” Her family also had a garden, and canned fruits and vegetables. “Raising your own food is a lost art–it used to be a way of life for people. But once you’ve had eggs from your own chickens, grocery store eggs just don’t compare. And I think raising chickens is better for stress than something like watching fish swim around in a tank.” Krista presently has 12 chickens, 2 roosters and 1 (Fall Poultry Show champion) turkey. “My chickens work as show birds, or as chicken ambassadors,” she said, “they’re extremely friendly.” She described the community outreach she does as magical and told us a story about taking her hen Greedy Guts to visit fourth graders. “The best part was when the hen stood there, stock-still, with her chest raised up and her legs locked – she looked kind of like a penguin – and she was looking unusually focused. The kids wondered what was wrong with Greedy Guts–she was frozen like that for a minute or so before she lowered her hind end slowly and the egg just popped out. I was surprised Ol’ Greedy laid that egg – she turns 7 years old in November. I’ve had other of my Chicken Ambassadors lay eggs at other events and it is always a big hit, even though it is unplanned.”
Krista told us that poultry shows have been around since 1849–that’s when the first one occured in the US (in Boston). “The American Poultry Association was formed in 1879, and the Uniontown Poultry Association has been in existence since the turn of the 20th Century. It formally incorporated as a nonprofit in 1928, and is one of the oldest poultry clubs in this geographic area.
During one of our conversations, Krista said, “By the way, have you ever held a chicken?” She brought out Svetlana, a beautiful (and soft) Silver Laced Polish chicken, and showed us how to hold her.
The food at the Poultry Hall was delicious–we could not resist trying the chicken and dumpling soup.
Thanks to the members of the Uniontown Poultry Association for the lively contributions to Locally Toned.
This ringtone recording sessions with participants at the Uniontown Poultry Association’s Fall Show were made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.