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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi!

I'm in a 4-h group and am planning to show my chickens.  I was wondering how to tell if they are show quality, like what measurement they need to be and that sort of stuff.

 

Thanks! 

post #2 of 5
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Originally Posted by silverlaced44 View Post
 

Hi!

I'm in a 4-h group and am planning to show my chickens.  I was wondering how to tell if they are show quality, like what measurement they need to be and that sort of stuff.

 

Thanks!


Welcome to BYC!

I would suggest reaching out to your local extension office and asking about the requirements for your specific county as they can vary from one locality to another.  In many areas the focus is more on the overall understanding of the care of the bird and the showmanship of the 4-Her vs. being judged on the basis of the quality of the bird itself.  As for the specifics of the bird - a "show quality" bird is one that most closely fits the "standard of perfection" (SOP) for the specific breed as accepted by the APA (American Poultry Association) -- this is the standard that a bird would be judged by in an official poultry show. 

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 5


I would post pics of your birds on the breed thread for whatever breed you have. It's great to talk to fellow 4-Hers, so if you have any questions, come ask me.

I have 2 Crele Old English Game Bantams, 1 Bantam Golden Laced Cochin, 3 Bantam Barred Cochins, a special needs Holland Lop rabbit, a Tan rabbit, three Polish rabbits, and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Member of the Derperella Fan Club- We're all just goin' 'round the rooster here!
Looking for show quality bantams in California
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I have 2 Crele Old English Game Bantams, 1 Bantam Golden Laced Cochin, 3 Bantam Barred Cochins, a special needs Holland Lop rabbit, a Tan rabbit, three Polish rabbits, and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Member of the Derperella Fan Club- We're all just goin' 'round the rooster here!
Looking for show quality bantams in California
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post #4 of 5

Hello! I am a 4H'er from Morris County NJ! I have a show quality Buff Orpington hen, 3 heritage Rhode Island Reds, a Blue/Red wyandotte, 6 Ameraucanas, and hopefully getting some exhibition Welsummer chicks next spring! The best way to judge show quality is to research the breed standards online, and compare that to your birds. That being said, each judge has his/her idea of what qualities define a show winner and a bird that gets disqualified by one judge might win with another judge!

Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, and Welsummers
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post #5 of 5

4-H is truly a great way to get started showing birds. To learn how show quality your birds are, I suggest that you obtain an American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection. This book contains the standards for all APA recognized breeds and varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guinea fowl. It is a must-have for those wanting to raise and breed show quality birds. It shouldn't be you only tool, however. I recommend attending multiple poultry shows and speaking with fellow breeders or judges. Particularly, I'd advise attending APA sanctioned shows since they nearly always have licensed judges that have been breeding and exhibiting birds on their own for years. While county fairs and local shows are great for teaching youth, they sometimes don't have licensed judges and the birds end up being judged using some obscure standards or just being "pretty". Watch judging and observe the birds that win. Sometimes you can become "barn blind" (miss faults of your own birds or notice the wrong ones) if you don't go out and see other birds from different people.

 

What makes a bird "show quality" really depends on the bird's specific breed and variety. That's why you should get a Standard of Perfection and talk with other breeders and judges. One particularly important aspect of a show quality bird that I'd like to stress is condition. Condition means few/no missing/broken feathers, all feathers smoothed down (no frayed edges), nails that are not extremely long (judges don't want to get scratched), a neatly trimmed beak, smooth scales on the legs (no scaly leg mites!), good flesh condition, and managable (not flying frantically around the cage when the judge looks at them). If you talk to judges, especially county fair judges, and ask what the three most important parts of a show bird are, you may get the answer "Condition, condition, and condition". Never bring a molty, sick, or neglected bird to a show. 

 

I'd suggest posting photos of your birds in this section for knowledgeable poultry exhibitors/breeders to view and critique. They can give you advice on which birds are more show quality and more likely to fulfill your purposes. It is hard to judge birds just from photos, but obvious faults (poor body type, not enough depth, wrong tail carriage, etc) can usually be determined through photos. 

 

Welcome to the would of poultry exhibition and good luck with your flock! I'd love to help evaluate some of your potential show chickens.

Owner of about 20 chickens and 12 exhibition rabbits

Always happy to answer questions! You can ask me about diseases, raising chicks, feeding, and breeds!

 

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Owner of about 20 chickens and 12 exhibition rabbits

Always happy to answer questions! You can ask me about diseases, raising chicks, feeding, and breeds!

 

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