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Get EGGcited for the Benton Chicken Swap this weekend

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Event to host farm animal enthusiasts

By Jennyne Pinter, newsroom@bossierpress.com

After much success from its first event, the Benton Chicken Swap is preparing to host farm animal enthusiasts for a second time on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Denise Duke is the event’s organizer.

“Chicken Swaps have been held in Webster Parish. I had never been to one, but saw them posted on Facebook,” Duke commented about her introduction to the event.  “I, at the time, had an extra rooster or two and I thought I can take those roosters and sell them.  For months I had been wanting to go, but with that distance, it was just so hard to coordinate.”

Duke finally did make it to the June event in Spring Hill, but found that there were not very many vendors.  That is when she began to brainstorm a local event, and quickly decided to take on the challenge of creating a Chicken Swap in Benton where it would be more accessible to Bossier and Caddo residents.  Initially, she thought to pair up the event date on a Sunday with the Benton Farmers Market, but it was decided in the end to hold the event on its own date in the pavilion at 495 Simpson St.  Duke made up a flyer and started posting it on social media both locally and in groups as far out as east Texas and Arkansas.

“I just had so much excitement starting to build. I had people calling me from all over.  People were driving from a couple of hours away to our last Chicken Swap.”

While the name of the event is Chicken Swap, that is not the only type of transaction that takes place.  Chickens, roosters, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, pigs and goats will all make appearances, as well as some critters that might not be expected.  At the event, there will be kittens, guinea pigs, and livestock guardian dogs, which are a mix of Anatolian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees.  There are vendors selling goods such as birdhouses, chicken swings and perches, goat’s milk soap and candles, t-shirts and various other crafts and home decor.

Many of the animals sold and traded are used for food sources, be it eggs, meat or milk, and others are purchased to be pets or working animals.

“Because there’s crafts and all that kind of stuff, it’s always interesting.  It’s almost like going to the state fair.  You go to the livestock barn and look at all the cool animals just because they’re neat to look at.  You’ll find that we’ve created such friendships and family by this joint venture.  I have gotten so many new friends just over common interest.  And it’s exciting just to pass that along.”

This event is also planning to showcase the Benton Middle School 4-H, three members of which will deliver short presentations at 9, 10 and 11 a.m.

Anyone interested in participating as a vendor may contact Duke at 318-560-1515.