The “chicken whisperer” sets up poultry club
A 12-year-old dubbed the Chicken Whisperer has founded his town's first poultry club.
Gifted Dominic Wright attracted two dozen people to the first meeting of the Chester-le-Street and District Poultry Club to share their know-how on keeping birds happy.
The schoolboy, who is determined not to allow cerebral palsy to stop him from achieving, has a calming way of handling the chickens and talking to them which relaxes the birds.
He fell in love with hens, first keeping them on an aunt's smallholding and he now keeps four in a run in his Chester-le-Street back garden.
He hopes to add more hens, ducks and geese to his flock when he gets an allotment.
Dominic had early success with a leghorn he found roaming in the woods at his former primary school.
He cleaned her toes with a toothbrush, blow dried her feathers and, after naming his adopted pet Rose, entered her in the Northumberland County Show, winning first prize.
Since then Dominic has developed his knowledge which he loves to share with less experienced poultry keepers.
He set up the club with his friend Miah Liddell, 13, and Pelton Community Centre chairman Mick Rodgers, and the group meets on the last Monday of every month.
Dominic said: "I set up the club because I wanted to share my love of chickens with other people who felt the same, you know it's surprising how many people keep chickens.
"I had looked around for somewhere to share my ideas and thoughts with others and to get any tips or advice from people who kept chickens, but there was nothing.
"So, I just thought well I'm going to set a club up myself and see if I can get people together.
"I think I'm good with chickens because I spend a lot of time with them, I talk to them and they always talk back.
"They are a very sociable animal and express their feelings if you are gentle and allow them to learn to trust you.
"My chickens always get handled a lot and this is the key to my success, they love nothing more than a cuddle and a chat during the day."
His mother Louise said: "We are really proud. He has overcome so much to achieve this."