11 yo wants to show at state fair...what to do?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by urbanfarmer101, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. urbanfarmer101

    urbanfarmer101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My 11 year old has decided that he would like to show his chickens at the State Fair. I found that he can show as a junior competitor. Beyond that, I don't have a clue. [​IMG] Any suggestions, advise or stories would be most welcome.

    We have an assortment of birds, which one should he choose? Should I encourage him to show more than one? Any input is greatly apppreciated.
     
  2. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    To do best at the show, I typically recommend birds from a breeder, not hatchery, assuming that's where your birds are from. You have to be really lucky to find a bird that's worthy of showing if hatchery-bred, and they typically are meant to be pets and egg-producers, not show winners.

    You can show a hatchery bird, but in a big group like a state fair, you most likely wouldn't place. My advice: let your son pick out a bird that he likes, and find a reputable breeder to purchase birds from. If you really don't want to do that, than your able to pick one of your own and show. Just don't hold out much hope of bringing home ribbons. In general, you're looking for a bird that best fits its standard. As for the number of birds you wish to show, I'd stick to very small numbers because this would be the time to learn. After a few shows, you can bring as many as the show allows, but assuming that your son is doing showmanship, things could get confusing if you have multipe birds of different breeds.
     
  3. Majestic Lane Poultry

    Majestic Lane Poultry Heart Strings Animal Rehoming

    Feb 9, 2009
  4. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The state fair is going to be different from a sanctioned show (usually). But some things to look into... Will the bird/birds have to stay at the fair all week (in most cases, they do)? When is check in/out? Who is responsible for feeding/cleaning (some places a local club will volunteer, other places owner has to come in twice a day)? Is food and bedding provided for birds or does exhibitor provide? Food/water cups provided by fair or exhibitor? Acceptable food/water containers? Most fair books outline the exhibitor responsibilities and livestock care rules. The fair book should also list who the area superintendent is. I would contact the superintendent and see what the expectations are. You might also be able to get the superintendent's advice on which birds would do best in the show, etc. Normally, the superintendent is someone who has some knowledge about the species they are responsible for.
     
  5. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My daughter and I both exhibit at the fair. With the fair being an hour+ drive each way from our house, we camp at the fairgrounds. We take as many animals with us from the farm as possible since we have to care for them twice a day at the fair. This makes it easier on the folks who are taking care of the critters left at home. Of course, no critter goes unless it comes close to its particular standard. We have a blast sharing this hobby.
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    I would go here: http://www.iowastatefair.org/competition/openclasslivestock.php and here: http://www.iowastatefair.org/competition/pdfs/10premium_books/ocl/ocl_poultry.pdf

    Those will give you the rules that this year's Iowa state fair is going to use.

    Then I would go here: http://www.apa-abayouthprogramsite.org/ and especially here: http://www.apa-abayouthprogramsite.org/educational_material.htm to get you started. Try to find your local clubs and see if you can meet some folks. Chances are you'll find someone who will be willing to give you some real-time help.
     
  7. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At our local fairs, the birds have to stay the whole time, and you have to feed and water and clean your own birds. Some fairs may have the rule that only a junior exhibitor can do the care.

    You'll want to dust them for mites a few weeks before the show, and wash them a few days before.

    Your chickens will probably have to be banded.

    At our fairs, since it's about education for the public, most of the kids put up signs telling about their chicken and their breed etc. But, they go up only after the judging.

    Initial bedding may be provided. You'll probably need some sort of pail and scoop (I use a cat litter scoop) to clean cages. You'll want to bring a supply of feed, and ideally, some extra shavings.

    Bring tape and wire to help secure your waterers, signs, food jars, whatever. People frequently use disposable cups and a clothespin. I always have trouble with the chickens knocking stuff over.

    Paper towels and a toothbrush are good for last minute touchups on feet or feathers. Baby oil on the comb can look nice.
     
  8. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for asking this question because I was wondering the same thing. What it's like when you show up with your bird and who you talk to and what you are supposed to do. There's a lot of material out there concerning selecting and preparing the bird, but not what a typical day at a show would be. Now I ned to read those links

    What about testing for certain illnesses or vaccinations? Do you have to get your birds tested before? I read that they sometimes test the bird at the show?
     
  9. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Zip ties (cable ties) work great for securing feed cups. Our fair doesn't allow disposable drinking cups because they break too easily. Yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese containers (etc) work great though as do cut off quart, 1/2 gal, and gal plastic milk jugs.

    Be careful with the baby oil so that during judging, the judge can't actually feel the oil on the comb and feet.

    Our fair requires preentry so that they can set up adequate cages for the birds. This usually happens about a week before the fair. The best thing you can do is check with the fair and find out your fair's requirements.
     
  10. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The actual routine at the show will vary - it is different for each of the three fairs we have attended.

    There will be a start time for judging breed classes and a start time for showmanship. Showmanship involves a routine that's fairly complicated to learn without an in-person mentor - if you have a local 4H club, they can help.

    Breed classes are usually judged in an assigned cage, and the cages are set up so that birds for the same class are near each other (rather than all the birds from an exhibitor being together). The judge goes to to the cages and takes out each bird and then writes the placing on the tag on the cage.

    At one show we attend, the exhibitors have to bring the birds up to a table to be judged for their breed classes.

    At our fairs, the entry fees are cheap or free.. but you'll have to pay for admission and parking. If you camp, you'll be charged a fee for that also.
     

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