Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jake's Chicken Spa

Just east of Choteau, about twenty miles, lies the little town of Dutton. Once a booming wheat capital, now quietly survives as a pit stop, bedroom community, and long-time home to a few residents.

Tucked along a gravel road neighborhood is a home like many homes. Children dashing in and out, barbecue on the porch, and bicycles strewn about. Behind the yard gate, to the far end of the property lies Jake's Chicken Spa.

Dear hens "Chicken Noodle", "No Name" and others wait their turn to be held and stroked, returning the care with gentle clucks and coos. They lay fine brown eggs with tall, dark, yellow yolks. They each have bedding boxes or roosts and in the middle of the tidy coop is a water tank with the next five, learning how to socialize.

Chickens here lay eggs until the day they die. They are never butchered, although occasionally caught by a coon, dog, or curious cat. Should they stop laying, they are welcome to live out their days wandering about on lush, unkempt grass, tasty grasshoppers and earthworms. They will still be held and stroked, protected and kept warm in the harsh winters. After all, they're residents of the spa!

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