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Attend a festival to crow about

Chicken Festival to include classes, five adoptable feathered friends this weekend
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO View chickens on display as you learn about them at Sunday’s Chicken Festival 2011 at Willamette Park.

Flock to West Linn's Willamette Park on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Chicken Festival 2011. Various breeds of chickens will be on display under the covered areas and stage, according to organizer Sharon Murphy of PAWS Animal Shelter in West Linn.

'It's really fun,' Murphy said. 'We'll be having classes on how to care for chickens and choose chickens. We'll talk about chicken coops and composting. A lot of people who have small yards keep their chickens in a small area, and the chickens deplete everything that's nutritious in the ground, so we'll teach people how to raise worms and compost with worms.'

The event will feature a vendor market, chicken classes, a 'kids' coop' and more.

'People that have chickens will share their experience and vendors will share (their wares),' Murphy said. 'Yard art will be available that is functional for chickens so they can jump up and perch (in the yard).'

Murphy said she got chickens three years ago for her own home and 'so loves them.'

She continued, 'It's very calming to have them out in the yard, and you can't beat fresh chicken eggs. The chickens walk around like they don't have a care in the world. My chickens are my pets.'

The event is a benefit for PAWS and will also feature cake, hot dogs and soda available for purchase. The shelter, located at 1741 Willamette Falls Drive in West Linn, is a non-profit cat adoption center.

'People can absolutely bring a donation,' Murphy said of the Chicken Festival. 'And the five chickens available (for adoption) will be available at the festival for a donation.'

While chickens aren't usually adopted from PAWS, Murphy said placing these birds in a nice home is a priority. The chickens available were once neglected and kept with 95 other chickens and roosters before being rescued; they have since been staying at Murphy's home - alongside her own chickens - in Happy Valley.

'My hope is to introduce people to the passion of having chickens,' Murphy said. 'And we hope to raise a whole lot of money. As the economy has turned, the requests for (pet) help go up.'

For more information about PAWS Animal Shelter, visit the website www.pawsan

imalshelter.org or call 503-650-0855. Willamette Park located is at 1100 12th Street in West Linn.

Chick it out:

The schedule at Sunday's Chicken Festival is as follows:

* 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Kids' coop is open.

* 11:30 a.m. to noon: An introduction to chickens class discussing how to get started and what it's like to have chickens as pets.

* 12:15 to 1 p.m.: How to use chicken manure properly in the garden.

* 1:15 to 2 p.m.: Learn the benefits of worm composting.

* 2:15 to 3 p.m.: The 'Incredible, Edible Chicken Yard' seminar hosted by a master gardener. The class foceses on designing the yard as a renewable resource of food and enjoyment for chickens.

* 3:15 to 4 p.m.: Compare different chicken houses and box designs presented by chicken coop owners.

* 4:15 to 5 p.m.: Learn information about keeping your chickens healthy, as presented by avian experts.