Lots of people have begun raising chickens in their backyards. We used to have a small flock, and there was something so wonderful about checking their nests and finding a prized egg. We could tell when the egg was laid, because the hens would walk around clucking loudly as if to say, “Oh boy, come see what I did!” If one of us tried to get an egg while the hen was still sitting, a peck or two was in order, and it really did hurt.
I recently learned that not all chickens are raised to lay eggs or to be fried to a golden brown. Whiting Farms in Delta, Colo., raises chickens for their plumage. Over 100,000 of the birds are raised for their feathers and sold to people who make fly-fishing lures. Fly-tiers are very persnickety, and the feathers have to be in perfect condition. Whiting Farms has claimed about 80 percent of the world market with clients in Australia, Singapore and South Africa.
Tom Whiting, owner of the farm, has developed dozens of gorgeous breeds. When the chickens are 50 weeks old, they are butchered, and the feathers are removed. It is too painful a process to remove them from live birds. The defeathered chickens are then composted to be used as fertilizer on the farm.
I wonder if any of these “designer” chickens ever flies the coop?
Never miss a local story.
Want to talk Bluffton history?
The Heyward House Historic Center is in need of docents. If you have extra time on your hands and would like to help explain Bluffton’s history to visitors, you are invited to a meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 10 at the Heyward House. There you will be told about the house and meet the wonderful staff.
Small art, big results
If you have a small spot on your wall that could use a bit of color, nip over to the “Small Wonders” exhibit at the SOBA Gallery.
All the paintings on display through Dec. 31 are less than 10 inches. If you are visiting here for the holidays, these little treasures are easy to pack and take home as a souvenir of your visit. The SOBA Gallery is at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets in Old Town Bluffton.
Speaking of art and SOBA Gallery, Nancy Vineburgh will have a first one-person exhibit titled “Contemporary Impressionism” opening Jan. 2 and running through Feb. 5. Nancy’s paintings are charming, and her work is lively and carefree. A founder of the Belfair Art League and a resident of Bluffton for 10 years, Nancy has only been painting since her retirement in 2014.
The opening reception is from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 8 at the gallery. For information, go to www.sobagallery.com.
Listen to the music
If you love music, the annual Savannah Music Festival will run from March 23 through April 8. There are always fabulous artists performing, and many venues sell out quickly.
For information and tickets, go to savannahmusicfestival.org.
Have you tried our new bakery yet?
It is called Twisted and is located on May River Road next to Vaux Law Firm. It is a wonderful and smells good, too. The bakery is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, so after church, stop by for a sugary treat to eat inside or take home.
For information about other delicious offerings, go to www.twistedeuropeanbakery.com.
Say ‘hello’ to the New Year
You can celebrate the arrival of New Year 2017 at the annual Crab Pot Drop at The Dispensary in Old Town Bluffton from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Dec. 31.
There will be live music and lively guests enjoying the fun, so come mingle with some of Bluffton’s finest.
Call 843-837-1893 for more information.
Have a safe, happy New Year and welcome to 2017, which I trust will be kind to us all.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at email@example.com.