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1st time showing with 4-H

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mommyofthreewithchicks, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    So what do I need to know. My little girl is set on sending one of the chickens to the fair- So I guess we are jumping with both feet into this game.

    I think we are bringing the white silkie as we know that one is pure bred the others I am not even sure what breed they are- we have one turken (which if she got to pick he would be the one to go to the fair) and 8 unknown, three of which are black.

    Do I need to get a poultry cage? Can I rent one? Any and all hints would be helpful- thanks.

  2. toejam

    toejam Never enough birds

    Dec 21, 2009
    SW Ohio, Wilmington
    At my fair (and I would assume for other fairs), they have the cages and you need to check the bird to varify this is what you said you are taking. obvisouly have food water bedding and containers for food.water. Are you doing showmanship there? I have won the last 2 years so I know a bit about showmanship. I would reccommend for breeding class( they judge based on standard) is to ask judge questions about why this one is better etc. ALWAYS LET THEM HAVE FRESH AND CLEAN WATER!!!! I cant stress that enough. Also, Talk to other people there to learn more. I have been at fair for 4 years and still learn.
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Thanks- Rachael is only a first grader so I am unsure of what she will get to do with said bird but she has been learning a lot right along with me and since she is also making a chicken picture board and has come up with the information on her own I have figured out must be listening to my lectures. She is still a bit nervous about picking up and handling the chickens but they are also nervous around us- I have tried to make sure to hold one each time I am in the coop but they are getting very fast!

    What do you do for showmanship?

    I am not expecting much as she is so young and the fact that we are just starting to figure out what we are doing with the chickens [​IMG] I also have ordered more chicks (I know I am crazy) that are actually from a known breed. Hopefully I can figure out how to post pictures sometime soon and have others guess what birds I have.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Contact the Show Superintendant or Show Secretary to get your questions answered for that specific show. The cage & bedding are virtually always provided. Most shows also provide feed (scratch) (usually donated by a feed store or manufacturer) and water.
  5. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    You don't need a cage at the show but you do need some sort of carrier to get the chicken(s) to the show. It can be a wire cage, or cardboard, or a dog carrier, or whatever.

    The prize list should give a check in and check out time. At our fair, the birds arrive before the fair starts and cannot be removed until the evening of the last day. Birds are inspected for mites and health at checkin, so it's important that you arrive in the right window.

    If she hasn't been taught the showmanship routine by a 4H leader, I'd skip it. It's kind of challenging especially for the young kids. If she is, in addition to the list she'll need to wear a uniform and she'll need a stick (bamboo is good) for directing the bird.

    Chickens at our fair need to have some sort of id number (for example leg bands).

    - chicken food for your stay, in a non-glass container
    - a feeder for the cage that won't tip over
    - a waterer for the cage that won't tip over
    - wire and tape, in case your containers tip over. [​IMG]
    - additional shavings, if multi-day... usually initial bedding is provided
    - a small shovel or cat litter pooper-scooper
    - paper towels
    - old toothbrush (for cleaning feet)
    - baby oil (optional, for combs)
    - a pen

    I put all this stuff in some sort of plastic bucket or bin with a lid, and you can generally leave it under the cages.

    At the fair, it's typical to have a sign on each cage with information like the breed and sort of an 'about this chicken' for the general public. It's not required, and it goes up after the judging is done.

    Before the show:
    - dust for mites a month out if you remember
    - trim the beak and nails to remove sharp points
    - bathe the chicken

    Plan to check in on your birds (or have a friend do so) at least morning, noon, and night, to make sure that they have food and water.

    When the judge is judging, it's appropriate to keep a distance.

    Our chickens really like tiny bits of grape, so I use those, along with a clicker, to help tame them down and tolerate the showmanship handling.
  6. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Thank you for replying- I had our 4-H leader stop over with the fair book and her son is going to go over some points with Rachael for the fair. Sounds like she really wants Rachael to do showmanship even though she most likely won't do "great" this first time. For her age group it is all about learning. And I do think both her and I are learning a ton with our first batch of chickens [​IMG]

    Hopefully I can help her get ready and she will do fine!
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    It sounds like your leader is helping! [​IMG]

    4H for youngsters is all about learning, and not as much about "standards". I LOVED 4H (was in it from 8 to 18). As they get older, it's more about standards and being good, but as a youngster, it's more about fun and trying. Some of the BEST classes to watch are definately the livestock classes for the younger kids - hilarity! Calves going anywhere, kids chasing pigs around, etc. Heck, in a youth class when I was 8, I nearly plowed the judge down with my horse - a Shire mare that weighed in at, oh, 1800lbs or so. I forgot to stop [​IMG] She stopped about a foot from him, and he acted like nothing had happened - and I ended up getting a 4th place out of 10 [​IMG]

    If she wants to bring the turken, I think that would be fun [​IMG] I know when we had the dog showing at fair, 75% of the dogs (including mine) were mutts of every size. Later, I showed one of our Shires at fair - the only draft horse in our county 4H that was a riding horse. He did fabulous, and sure had a lot of attention, even when I fell off him during the bareback class [​IMG] Perfection is not a quality of 4H, learning and sharing and having fun is [​IMG]

    If you have other chicken showers in your 4H group, buddy up with them if they've done fair before. It's daunting at first, but it's just so much fun!

    I LOVED Fair!

  8. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    Good luck. With the littlest kids, it is very much about just learning the routine - often they only get participation ribbons. It's nice to have a small and relatively docile and patient chicken - the kids have to be able to hold the chicken right side up and upside down for showmanship, and it's hard to handle a larger bird.
  9. silkieluver_07

    silkieluver_07 Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I don't know if this has been mentioned or not, but contact your 4-H leader to see if your birds need to be bloodtested. In PA we need them to test negative for Avian Influenza and Pollorum Typhoid.
  10. Lynxmomma

    Lynxmomma In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2010
    Absarokee, Montana
    Right on thats cool My daughter is going to do that when shes 9 so. Hope everything goes okay for ya [​IMG]

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