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chicken defends flying title

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 15:44 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

10-year old Kimmy Crawford's chickens kept free range at home get plenty of exercise.

That could explain why her two-year old bird ''Snowflake'' defended her title in the chicken flying competition Monday at the LaPorte County Fair.

She liked her chances going in because ''I won last year,'' said Crawford, a 4-H member whose family has more than 50 chickens at their home between LaPorte and Rolling Prairie.

31 chickens competed in four separate weight classes and the winner in each division then squared off for all of the marbles.

It probably wasn't her best performance but the 16 feet Snowflake flew in the final round was good enough to take the $25 grand prize.

The longest flight at 44 feet 10 inches went to Bella owned by 17-year old Madeline Nunn but in the final round when it counted most her bird was in the air for just six feet.

The chickens were shoved off a 10 foot tall platform then started flapping their wings to stay above the ground.

Carolyn Krause, a 4-H volunteer recording the official measurements, said how much chickens feel like flying has alot to do with the distance they cover at any one particular moment.

''You never know who is gong to win. It's always a guessing game,'' said Krause.

June Lenig, the fair's poultry superintendent, said some chickens in the past have gone airborne for well over 100 feet.

Most of the chickens after landing were quickly scooped up by handlers with nets.

Sometimes, though, chickens managed to dart away then had to be chased sometimes for a minute or longer until caught, something onlookers seemed to really enjoy.

''The whole idea is to have fun. That's what it's all about,'' said Lenig.