Is it a turken?

Written by David Green.

• The April 29 Observer included a story about a chicken living at Morenci’s Oak Grove Cemetery—a chicken looking worse for wear and roosting in a pine tree.
Ted Hutchison wrote to set us straight on the breed of bird. It was no chicken, he said, but instead it’s known as a turken. And although it appeared to be in rough condition, Ted thought it looked like a healthy specimen since turkens (also known as Transylvanian Naked Necks) have no feathers on the neck.
He sent us to the Backyard Chickens website ( where learned there are two breeds of turkens. Although they appear to be a cross between a chicken and a turkey, it’s not possible for a turkey and a chicken to have viable offspring, according to the website.
One additional update on the bird.… During an interview with Jeff Shadbolt about bowling, he mentioned that the Cemetery Chicken has moved a little north and is now roosting in trees at the David DiCenso and Ken Shadbolt  residences.

Note: Ken Shadbolt had allegedly stated that the neck feathers are growing back and it is, in fact, just a regular chicken.

• While on the subject of birds, we received a note and photo from Kristy Long about an owl on Greeley Street in Morenci.
Kristy’s, Kate Shaffer, was checking up on her late sister’s property and thought she was looking at a mop head in the back yard until she got a little closer. That’s when she realized it was a young owl sitting there watching her.
The Longs called the conservation service and the bird was temporarily taken away for a checkup and a meal. The owl was later brought back and placed in a nearby tree.
Kristy says they’ve now noticed that the young owl’s parent is keeping watch and occasionally feeds it.
It should develop into a beautiful three-foot great-horned owl.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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