Maybe these birds qualify as "spring chickens" even if their visitors didn't. The birds were residing on the property of the Château de Mesnières-en-Bray, just five miles north of Neufchâtel-en-Bray. The château was built in the first half of the 16th century, in Renaissance style. It's a Loire Valley château located in Normandy. And it's operated as a school for 400 to 500 secondary and post-secondary students, teaching subjuects like horticulture, landscaping, and forestry. CHM and I stopped there for a few minutes on our way to Neufchâtel-en-Bray as we left Picardy.
What I didn't know at the time was that the château had been severely damaged six years earlier by a fire that broke out during a violent windstorm. Three-quarters of the roof burned off. Restoration work continued until 2014. Obviously, the roof had been put back on by the time we visited in 2010. Not only were there chickens on the property but also other birds, and goats too.