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Our own Lab West Chicken guy

Brian Brace and some of his chickens.
Brian Brace and some of his chickens. - Gary Shaw

Just when you might have thought you have seen it all, you every once in a while discover that anything may be possible, as long as you don’t have any restrictions on your imagination. This is clearly one such story that needs to be told.

I happened by chance to run into Brian Brace the other day. We have known each other for many years and we had our typical Labrador West chat about the weather, how fast time is going and what the latest stories about town were.

Little did I know what would be next.

Brian said, “Come on, you need to see my chickens.”

The next thing you know, there we were standing in front of a new, well-built wooden chicken coop with a wire yard attached to the pen. Back and forth between the pen and the yard strutted seven big, healthy and contented looking red chickens.

This had to be a story shared with the folks of Labrador West. So, here we go, this is Brian’s chicken story.

Brian indicated that he has for at least the last 15 years, had a desire to have a few chickens and see if he could actually raise them and get them to lay eggs in Labrador West. Desire, circumstances and a bit of work has seen his vision deliver the eggs.

In mid-May he took delivery of his seven chickens from Sussex New Brunswick. On arrival, they were settled into there new home, a mansion by chicken standards. They have been showered with attention and the best of feed since the day they arrived.

I’m not sure if you can possibly spoil a chicken, but if you can, these ones are definitely spoiled. The cleanest a chicken house can possibly be, dishes full of food, fresh water and treats from Tim Horton’s are the norm each day.

The proof of happy and contented chickens was in the basket Brian held. There were six big brown eggs freshly laid this morning. We both agreed that you would have a hard time trying to figure out which one took the day off. Chicken stew out of the lazy one could see him end up with no eggs or chickens. It isn’t worth the gamble.

We both agreed that there is often a fine line between a farm animal and a pet, but in my opinion at least with the kind care and attention that these chickens seem to be getting from Brian and other “friends of the hens” they are zooming in on pet status real fast.

I asked Brian if they had names yet. He said, not yet, but more and more kids are interested in the chickens including his granddaughter and he is planning some kind of contest among the youngsters to name them all.

I suggested that once you give a farm animal a name you can never put it in the roaster. He said, “exactly.” We both had a fine laugh.

Whether intended, or simply by chance, Brian’s seven chickens are fulfilling a long wish of his to have a few chickens. Perhaps more importantly, the folks who are dropping by to see them and particularly the youngsters who are engaging with them, and are taking some loose fitting ownership to the whole concept, by naming them is certainly catching on. It may somehow represent a return journey to the basics of our past that still has a very significant value to our lives, far greater even, than the six eggs each day.

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