Eight-year-old Rebekah Albright of Graham is showing her chickens this week at the Washington State Fair.
She knows what she shows.
Rebekah is one of 117 poultry fanciers presenting their home-grown animals this year at the poultry barn, and Rebekah’s four chickens — a Brahma Bantam, an Old English Game hen, a Leghorn and a Buff Orpington — are among the more than 150 breeds recognized for competition.
Taking a 2-year-old feather-legged Brahma Bantam named Henny into her arms, Rebekah explains, “I like showing them. It teaches you more about chickens.”
Because of her participation in 4-H, Rebekah has become a teacher herself.
“My kids love to talk to the public,” says Rebekah’s mom, Tiffany, who also happens to be superintendent of poultry at the fair and who home-schools Rebekah and her brother Matthew, 6.
Matthew also shows poultry.
Rebekah says, “Some chickens lay blue eggs. I don’t know why.”
She does know, however, how to tell if a chicken is likely to lay either white or brown eggs.
It’s all in the earlobes. Red earlobes means the eggs will be brown; white earlobes foretell white eggs, she says.
Her chickens will be judged, among other criteria, on their cleanliness and their lack of mites, fleas and bugs.
Rebekah has no illusions concerning the ultimate disposition of chickens.
Then there’s all those many eggs they lay.
“I like to hard-boil them,” she says. “I like that because you can bring them everywhere. If they crack, they won’t make a mess, and you can have a nice snack.”
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535