Hang on to your hens -- educator, county fair judge, and chicken man Jim Burnette, owner of Burnette's Petting Zoo in Olmsted Township, is in the process of putting together Ohio's only Poultry Museum. The museum will house his personal collection of more than 2,000 chicken items, and that's not including the chickens, of which he has hundreds -- some of them as tame and fluffy as cocker spaniels. The memorabilia includes turn-of-the-century incubators and feeders, and many chicken works of art, including a painting of an indeterminate breed by a Brazilian church artist who was inspired by God to paint a chicken. "He was selling it for $20,000, but he gave it to me for two dollars," says the genial Burnette, who's tamed chickens since he was a baby. According to Burnette, chicken museums abound in Europe, but there's only one in the States, in Bonnard, Kansas. Cleveland deserves a chicken museum, he says, because the world's largest incubator was located on West 25th Street until a decade ago (it moved to Medina), plus the state produces more eggs than any other. The museum, which will cost $80,000 to $100,000 to build (he's in the process of fund-raising), will reportedly also include a wing devoted to pigeons.
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