This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Swapping Chickens

Today we drove about 180 miles to another Thousand Trails park.  This one is near Lynchburg and Appomattox.  The Virginia countryside is very lush and green (unlike Texas, it rains in Virginia) and the forests in the parts of Virginia through which we have traveled are predominantly hardwood, as opposed to pines back home in East Texas.  One of the nicknames for East Texas is “The Piney Woods” region of Texas.  A lot of Texans get real excited when they visit East Texas because they are not used to seeing trees.

When you look at a pine forest you see the individual trees because there are fewer pine needles on the lower trunks of pines.  Pines grow fast and compete with each other for sunlight.  They grow tall racing for the sun and the winners have more needles, the losers fewer.  The effect is such that when looking at a pine forest at ground level you see a lot of tree trunks.

Trees in the hardwood forests are of many sizes and varieties.  Smaller trees fill in spaces around the larger trees and as a result, when you look at a hardwood forest from the ground level you just don’t see individual tree trunks.  Instead, you see a wall of green from the ground up.  Hence the term, “You can’t see the trees for the forest.” 

Our RV park is literally in the middle of a forest and right now I am sitting outside under the trees with sunlight filtering down through the leaves as I write this.  I believe I could live in a place like this.  But I would need some chickens.

Chickens?  Yes. People in Virginia are really “into” chickens.  Me, I don’t know one chicken from another.  But these Virginians really know their chickens!  Back in Texas we have dogs and cats as pets.  In Virginia they have pet chickens.  I suppose they give them cute little names like “Peeps”, “Chickie”, “Pecker Head”, “Henny Penny”, “Red”, “Cock-a-Doodle”, or “Chicken Little.”  I wonder if Virginians eat chicken?  We don’t eat our pets’ in Texas.

I began looking into this after I saw a homemade sign announcing an upcoming “Chicken Swap,” which I learned is kind of like a garage sale.  Chicken Swaps seem to be regular events where people gather and trade chickens.  “I’ll swap you a Rhode Island Red for a New Hampshire Red.” There is a lot more chicken swapping going on in this state than would imagine!  They even have web sites devoted to the practice of chicken swapping.  Check out,, or

If these are their pets, how can they swap their chicken for another chicken?  Also, does a chicken get attached to its master and try to find its way home after being swapped?  I’ve never seen a news story about a chicken showing up at home after being lost 2,000 miles away.


Croft Randle said...

"does a chicken get attached to its master and try to find its way home"

Maybe THAT is why the chicken crossed the road!

Robert & Carol Ann Martin said...

Could be!