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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Jan/Feb 2020 > Fowl in the Last FRONTIER

Fowl in the Last FRONTIER

Alaska is home to some hardy chickens and chicken-keepers, such as the Wallis family.
EVENFH/SHUTTERSTOCK

My first trip to Alaska was in 2001. After landing in the state’s most populous city, Anchorage (population 294,000), we needed one more flight to reach our son’s house in Bethel, 400 miles west. On the flight to our destination, we had a surreal sense of wilderness and frontier as we passed over massive mountain ranges and glaciers. The next morning, as I lay half-awake with a cool breeze drifting through the window, something didn’t fit. I heard a rooster crowing! Four hundred miles from the road system, in a small town on the edge of the wilderness, it was certainly a rooster crowing.

Jennifer Wallis along with her daughter, Sienna, and granddaughter, Alivia, admire their latest chicken breed, the tiny Serama.
Most of the year, Jennifer Wallis’ birds have access to their acreage. Eric Petty, her husband, calls the birds in for a photo op. “I needed extra help last winter”, Wallis says. “Eric grumbled a bit, but when he found out how fun the birds were, he really got into it.”
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