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John Zimmerman fully intended to eat the three roosters he found for free online.
His daughter had other ideas.
“They were headed for the Crock-Pot,” Zimmerman said last Friday afternoon from his yard on Dawson Ferry Road, which is now home to hundreds of chickens, ducks and even a pair of domesticated turkeys.
“But Leah fell in love them, so here we are.”
Leah is Zimmerman’s 9-year-old daughter, an enterprising young lady who has taken falling in love with a few roosters into a full-blown chicken-raising enterprise that now includes more than 100 chicks she plans to sell for much more than chicken feed.
“I just love them,” Leah said, taking a break from scurrying from the chicken house to the duck pen and back over to see her turkeys.
“None of these are going into the Crock-Pot.”
Leah plans to sell the chicks to purchase a new iPad to replace one she said was broken not long ago when someone accidentally stepped on her backpack at Saffell Street Elementary School.
“I want to get enough money to replace it,” she said.
Doing so won’t be easy, but for Leah it certainly is fun. Each day before school she gets up and tends her growing flock of poultry, including the 125 chicks her grandfather, who lives next door, bought to get her started in the business.
Once school is over, she’s hard at it again, ensuring her chicks are fed, watered and nestled in under several heat lamps. Then she heads to the “Saloon,” a chicken house built by her dad that serves as home to a pair of miniature roosters and Henny, a chicken Leah says will come when she calls.
The duck pen comes next, where residents include Donald, Daffy, Huey, Dewey and Louie, along with Aflac, who looks suspiciously like the insurance-selling duck on television.
For her efforts, Leah said she hopes to sell the chicks in a month or so for $5 to $6 each, a nifty net profit being that her grandfather only paid a buck a bird.
She plans to sell them during the bi-monthly chicken swaps that are held the first and third Saturday of each month in the West Park Shopping Place in front of Tractor Supply.
The swaps begin around 8 a.m., and have included a full cast of farm critters, including goats, that people will sell or swap for just about anything.
The next gathering is this Saturday.
Leah said she’s thankful for the help she’s received in getting her poultry-raising career off the ground.
“I love my dad and thank him for helping me do this,” she said, adding that her first year of raising chickens certainly won’t be her last.
After her first batch of chicks is sold, Leah said she has not plans to slowing down and wants to make raising and selling poultry a career.
“When I grow up I want to live on a farm, sell chickens and make kids happy,” she said.