BELGRADE — Two energetic boys took a break from chasing chickens, sheep and goats at Serenity Sheep Farm Stay's day camp last week to create wool-felted Native American headdresses.

Seth Houghton, 8, of Manhattan, wanted his headband to sport "as many feathers as a chief would have," he told LaVonne Stucky who runs the camp at her farm on Swamp Road outside Belgrade.

"Holy smackers," Stucky responded to Seth's feather request.

Stucky got them started on the headdresses, sitting in the shade of the large willow trees behind her home.

Earlier in the day, Seth and 9-year-old David Crawford, of Bozeman, had made wool headbands, applying a wet-felting process to wool from Stucky's farm. Now they poked felting needles into felted wool.

As the boys tried to stay focused on the task at hand, however, young chickens, a tom turkey and a lamb named Buckwheat wandered around on the lawn.

When the lure of live farm animals proved too great for the two boys, they were on their feet, climbing the pasture fence and pulling willow branches down for the goats to munch.

The boys were met with a chorus of baas and bleats as the animals ran to greet them, recognizing the promise of an afternoon snack.

Stucky, who runs the camps on Fridays throughout the summer, had her hands full with two boys, she said. She usually gets a few girls, too.

Boys are "just so different toward the animals," Stucky said, as Seth and David chased chickens around the yard. "Girls are like, ‘Can we give Buckwheat a bath?' and the boys are like ‘Let's kill him.'"

The boys said they tried their hand at milking goats, pulled and fed pigweed to the pigs and collected eggs from the chicken coop. They also "terrorized the chickens," David said, smiling mischievously.

"Then I think we chased them again," he added.

Seth and David said neither of them had much farming experience before their day at farm camp, although David volunteers as a gardener at the Living History Farm at the Museum of the Rockies.

Eventually the boys finished decorating their wool-felted headdresses and Seth tied his around his brow, complete with an eclectic collection of turkey and chicken feathers. Stucky immediately dubbed him "Chief Wacky Feathers."

"So brave am I," Seth said, straightening his back and standing tall to show off his handiwork.

Jodi Hausen can be reached at jhausen@ or 582-2630.