Girls showed the skill of showing chickens. local news

Zoey Gathman holds a chicken the way most teens hold cell phones.

Or maybe a little more slowly.

On Wednesday, the 15-year-old was holding her chicken while speaking to a judge at the 2022 Dodge County Fair in Scribner. During the poultry show at the fair many 4-H’ers showed their ability to handle and talk about birds.

East of Omaha, Zoey and her family moved to a Scribner farm about four years ago.


Now, the former city girl wants to become an AG teacher.

Zoey’s affinity for rural life began years ago when her family — which includes parents Deb and Josh and brother Trace — visited her grandfather, Steve Gathman, who lives on a farm.

“We’ll go to the farm and see the animals it has,” Zoey said.

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A few months ago, Zoey’s mom brought home a cerama cockerel.

“I’ve never seen such a small chicken,” said Zoey, who named the young chicken Peanuts.

Zoey had not previously planned to show Peanuts at the fair.

“But I thought he was a new breed, so I would learn more about him,” she said.

Zoe said that the Serama Cockerel chickens, originally from Malaysia, can lay 200 to 250 eggs a year.

Many consider this bird to be the smallest breed of chicken in the world.

Peanuts weigh less than 19 oz.

“He’s really small,” said Zoey.

Yet even a small rooster can be powerful.

Zoey said these birds are known to be fearless warriors because of their upright posture and the way they look.

Yet Peanuts wasn’t cruel when he met Zoe.

“He was very friendly,” she said. “He didn’t act out of fear of me. He just let me take him.”

She wrote and memorized a speech about the little black chicken, but only began — on show day — rehearsing how she would stand him up for judge.

Zoey reports that she is very busy with softball and 4-H horse shows.

He is an outfielder on the Logan View Raiders softball team. He recently showed his Quarter Horse, Ozzy, at a horse show.

However, his quick work with Peanuts at the Poultry Show paid off.

“I thought he did amazing,” Zoey said. “He was a very nice boy.”

Zoey showed more chickens and two geese and won the title of reserve champion in senior showmanship at the poultry show.

She hopes to show Peanuts next year and enjoys at the fair.

“I love seeing all the animals that are here,” Zoey said. “I’ve always loved animals.”

For almost 10 years, Zoey wanted to be a veterinarian.

Zoey has recently decided that she wants to teach agriculture.

“I want to be an agriculture teacher, because it was something I never experienced or taught as a kid,” Zoey said. “I want to teach others about agriculture so they can find a passion in it like I did.”

Like Zoey, Greta Stanley-Van Briegel showed off her ability to handle chicken on the show

And the 9-year-old Fremont girl has experience, too.

Greta has been showing off her own chicken named Brownie for a while now.

“I’ve been showing him for the rest of my life,” Greta said. “Well, basically all my life, most of it.”

Greta has featured the brownie at the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department’s Citywide Pet Show.

In 2019, Pet Show judges saw how Brownie could balance herself on top of a baby cowboy hat. This year, Greta and Brownie both wore cowboy hats and handkerchiefs as scarves for the pet show.

Greta didn’t balance the brownie, an Old English game bantam hen, on her hat at the fair.

Instead, Greta gently grabbed the brownie while talking to Poultry Show judge Diana Dahir of Minden, Iowa.

Greta tells Dahir what kind of food Brownie eats, among other facts.

The child also remembered a speech about his chicken.

“It’s not fun to remember, but it’s fun to tell the judge,” Greta said.

Greta, who showed more chickens, won the reserve junior champion in showmanship at the poultry show.

In the future, Greta wants to become a veterinarian and already comes from a family that has a history of medicine and showing animals.

His mother, Dr. Kylie Stanley, is an internal medicine specialist with Methodist Fremont Health.

Greta’s grandmother, Georgia Stanley, said that Kylie Stanley showed chickens and rabbits in 4-H.

Greta’s father, cardiologist, Dr. Brett van Briegel showed the pigs.

The fair continues today in Scribner with more animal shows, entertainment, performances and food.

And in the middle of it all are kids with big dreams about helping people and the animals they love.