I mentioned we were getting more chickens, didn't I? (Unfortunately, not this big boy... roosters aren't allowed in our neighborhood, and I'm afraid he'd scare the farm dog.) Because we did, from someplace amazing. It's a shop called the Flint Rock Coon Den in Cherryville, which is pronounced by locals like "Cher'vul" (and no, that is not an actual phonetic spelling. You might have me confused with my mother, the linguist).
The "locals" to the Coon Den probably live about a hundred miles away from it, because it is in the boonies of Gaston County. The internet classifies it as a pet store, which is hilarious - while they do have pets, it's not that kind of place. It is the kind of place that has four older guys - one called Bud - in folding chairs chewing tobacco by the register at 11 am on a Friday. A couple times a month, the old timers get out their instruments and play bluegrass and gospel for anyone who wants to stop by. It's a dusty old hardware store in the front, a classroom/music hall in the back, and around the side is where it's really amazing (and stinky). They hatch chicks! And in coops behind the store, they have just about every kind of beautiful heritage chicken and rooster: Black Giants, White Silkies, Delawares, American Speckled Sussex, Silver-Laced Wyandottes. Plus quail. And of course, pregnant coon hounds.