Originally Posted by Whittni
1. How many chickens can you enter? This depends on the show, you'll want to call your local 4-H office or county fair director to inquire more about the ones held in your area. You can also use a search engine like Google with key word searches like, "(insert county and state) chicken shows"
2. About how much is it to enter shows? Some shows are free, a lot of them are $4-$5 per bird or pen being exhibited. A pen of birds would be a group of three hens of the same breed or a rooster and two hens all of the same breed.
3. Are there different age groups? Yes, depending on the show. County fairs usually have different classes of showmanship but the birds as a group are judged as a whole. When you get into bigger shows with a TON of birds they sometimes drop the showmanship entirely.
4. What do you wear? This will be specified in the rules. I highly suggest getting into 4-H as that can lead to some major scholarships for college down the road. County fairs usually go through 4-H and they were black bottoms and a button up white top. Avoid jean pants and t-shirts, look like you're going to church or a job interview and if you have long hair tie it back in a pony-tail or bun.
5. Are you present while your chicken is judged? You are usually allowed to watch from a distance or at bleachers of some sorts. It really depends on your judge because they don't want to have a biased against any birds because they know who the owners are. (For example, they see a cute little girl by her chickens and don't want to make her feel bad because her chickens aren't very nice looking)
6. What are the chickens judged on? Chickens are judged on something called the APA (American Poultry Association) and ABA (American Bantam Association) standards. Judges are looking at the bone structure of each chicken and their posture. You could have the shiniest chicken ever but if doesn't match the standard, it won't win. Judges are also looking for tameness in birds. You should be able to fully handle a bird without it going nuts, in fact, there's a lot of training that is needed for this. Your bird also needs to bathed before the show. I actually happened to write an article on it, here's the link: (How to Prepare a Chicken for Showing)
When I first started out I really didn't know anyone either but I made a lot of friends doing exhibiting chickens, it even got me started with rabbits and pigeons (but chickens always have and always will be my favorite). I actually ended up becoming the Utah State 4-H Poultry Showmanship champion. That was pretty crazy and I loved it and my chickens. Now depending on what state you're in, they will have different standards on how you present your bird. Places like California and Georgia have a TON of competition and you'll have to study to win. Other places aren't as organized in their shows and are more of a starter show to help prep you for state shows which are were people who won county shows compete (basically little sections of states compete against others for state titles). Oh! and there are also poultry group shows that aren't attached to groups like 4-H and focus on specific breeds of chicken.
The idea is for you to be superior to your opponents. You should try your best to dress nicer, be more confident, more knowledgeable and have a higher quality bird than anyone else you're competing with. If you don't have the nicest bird, pretend you do and just roll with it because you love your chicken and want to show off how pretty the bird you care for is!
Anywho, here are a few videos that will help get you started with Poultry Showmanship:
Goooooood luck! I hope you enjoy showing birds as much as I did.
p.s. The more knowledgeable you become about chickens and livestock in general, the more likely it becomes for your judge to select you as the winner. Check out this study guide: http://web2.uconn.edu/poultry/4-H%20Poultry/questions.htm