Originally Posted by neftaball
I'm glad I found this thread, now I think I know what to do get our sunbleached Buff Orpingtons ready for the shows in June and July. I have a question on how to tell if they are in good condition weight wise. When I feel the hens right now, I think they feel skinny, but they are on free choice feed (20% layer) and free range on pasture. They get the occasional treat of sunflower seeds. We're new to showing poultry, and these are my son's 4-H show birds. I read the SOP and have compared them to pictures of the standard and other winning birds and I think overall they are nice. We just need to get them into show condition for the summer.
With our Buff Orpingtons we use 4'x8' chicken tractors. The sides have shade cloth so the sun does not shine directly on the birds. We can move the coop every few days. Direct sunlight will bleach them out and ruin a good show bird.
Bob is right, most of us are hanging out on the Heritage Large Fowl Thread. But we have subscribed to this thread and can see if anyone posts.
What state are you in?
Is your 4H club a poultry project club or a regular club?
If you could locate a local exhibition breeder of any breed to mentor your son, it would greatly help. We did not ahve a 4H poultry project club here, so we started one. The County Extension agent felt we did not have enough interest. The year before only 30 entries and 3 exhibitors of poultry at our county fair. We started the Drew County 4H Poultry Club in March 2010. The 2010 Drew County Fair had 106 entries with 13 exhibitors. We are hoping for over 200 entries this year. The APA has a wonderful video on Exhibition poultry. My club loved it! You can order a copy at http://www.amerpoultryassn.com
You might also want to participate with the APA-ABA Youth Poultry Club. Their website is located at http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.org