For 9-year-old 4-H’er Cutter Higgins, July 29 was a busy day.
In addition to putting the finishing touches on his three rockets, Cutter tackled the unenviable task of washing his market turkeys.
Prior to the washing, Higgins weighed each of his eight birds and selected his three finest to show at the fair.
Much to Higgins disappointment, his largest and favorite turkey, named Spinosaurus, did not make the cut because it exceeded the maximum show weight of 40 pounds.
After selecting his three top birds, Cutter, with the help of his father, Heath, loaded his three turkeys into a bucket of warm, soapy water.
Armed with a large rag, Higgins scrubbed each bird in turn, removing dirt and grime from their feathers, feet and skin.
Higgins then sank the birds into a second bucket containing water and Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing, a solution designed to whiten the feathers.
Each bird was then dried and placed on a patch of green grass. Higgins said that he hoped his birds would remain on the green grass and stay clean.
This evening, the turkeys will be housed in a horse trailer behind the house.
“They can get a view of the night sky and see the stars,” Cutter said.
Tomorrow morning, on July 30, Higgins will trailer his turkeys to Parque de Vida for a 7:30 a.m. rocket launch before progressing to the Montezuma County Fairgrounds to check in his birds.
Higgins will then tend his turkeys throughout the day before spending the night in a camp trailer at the fairgrounds.
Judging will take place on July 30.
For updates on Higgins’ progress during fair week, continue to check www.cortezjournal.com or www.facebook.com/cortezjournal.