The Herald Bulletin

July 17, 2012

Frankton teen takes first attempt at 4-H competition in stride

Bousman showed her pet rooster for fun

By Melanie D. Hayes
The Herald Bulletin

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — Lexie Bousman is participating in her first Madison County 4-H Fair and started off by showing her pet rooster in a competition on Monday.

She knew going into it that his chances weren’t good, but she still thought “Quail Bird” deserved a shot. The 1 1/2-year-old Americana rooster was up against four others that were fluffier and better groomed.

“He wasn’t a very good-looking bird,” the 14-year-old Frankton girl said. “I pretty much just took him out of the dirt and showed him.

“He got last place. Oh well,” she said, chuckling. “I thought it would be fun.”

Although Quail Bird, and Bousman’s first attempt at showmanship, didn’t fare well with the judges, the rooster was still a hit in other ways.

“The girl chickens liked him better than the other roosters,” she said, beaming. “He’s a ladies man. It’s the happiest he’s ever been. He’s usually pecking at me, but he hasn’t been doing that.”

Bousman has raised Quail Bird since he was a few weeks old. She even rocks him to sleep in a rocking chair sometimes.

The teenager’s other option was to bring another rooster she owns, “Blackie.” But she doesn’t consider that one her pet, and he was never an option for the competition.

“He’s rude. You can’t touch him without freaking him out,” she said. “And I didn’t bring him because I don’t feel like having the judge get attacked!”

Bousman has a good sense of humor about her less-than-stellar first attempt. And she sees it as a learning experience. Many other participants start in 4-H at a much younger age, so she knows she still has a lot to learn.

On Tuesday morning she was washing down one of the two cows she was going to show that afternoon. And she was hoping she would do better in that competition.

“I can’t say that I’m a natural,” she said, chuckling. “I may not be good at it. But I like it, so I’ll come back.”

Find Melanie D. Hayes on Facebook and @MelanieDHayes on Twitter or call 648-4250.