POSTED: Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 5:21pm
HAMMOND, LA(NBC33) — Midway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans along Interstate 12 is a little spot with a lot of chickens.
"It's part of the heritage we lose with the city and the hustle and the bustle. How you actually grew up in the country where your eggs come from where your chickens came from," Carrie Laboyteaux, chicken swap organizer, explained. "They didn't come from the grocery store in the frozen food section. "
A group of families along Interstate 12 wanted to put their passion for raising poultry to good use. They started a new way to help others learn about birds without having to spend big bucks. Carrie Laboyteaux and her friends gather once a month in Hammond for a chicken swap. She says the free event helps protect poultry.
"I make sure the health of these animals are up to par," Laboyteaux said. "Each person out here is breeding to the standard of whatever particular breed they are working with. "
The idea is to help people who share Laboyteaux's love of chickens and small farm animals learn more about the species. It also provides a safe spot for families to trade, or buy the birds. Laboyteaux said the swap is mostly about having fun.
Adam Navarre, young farm animal enthusiast, agrees: "You never know what's going to happen at a chicken swap. There is no telling. "
Adam Navarre is 15, but instead of playing baseball he spends his time learning about the small animals.
"If you like doing it there are always fun things," Navarre said. "You can get what ever type of chicken you want just about. Everybody has different breeds. "
He knows that if he continues helping raise animals and learn from the chicken swappers one day it could help him earn scholarships through farming organizations.
"It teaches you responsibility and to show (animals) when you go in the ring and you win it just makes you feel just so accomplished there's no better feeling," Navarre explained.
Laboyteaux advises if your curious about the birds or just want to see what the swaps all about head to the flea market off I-12 and airport road exit in hammond.
"We just have fun. It's no different than horse shows, cow shows, dog shows, it's just poultry," Laboyteaux said, "There are actually people out there that show fish too."
The group will take a break for the summer, and Laboyteaux said the next chicken swap will take place this Fall. No word on an exact time just yet.