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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BobwhiteQuailLover, Nov 5, 2010.
How could I train my bantam for Showmanship? And groom him?
Check out the ABA/APA youth poultry site: http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.org/
In the Educational Materials section you'll find quite a lot of useful info.
I need more info!!
Have you tried to do a search on showman ship, i found alot for my daughter. check the 4h sites and the APA/ABA youth is great. I have the books a bit expensive for what you get but alot of info. I'll check to see if I saved the web site addresses
there is a 4-H poultry showmanship manual with lots of information. You can get it from your extension.
Find out what your average judge is looking for you to do, such as walking your bird down the table to a sertain marker (judges don't usually ask for this unless your in the senior showmanship), and be sure to learn as much history as you can about the breed of chicken your using and know all the parts of the bird. Depending on your breed as far as grooming goes, you can look up the breed in the APA or ABA and see what your breed looks like idealy for it's breed. (cohins for instance need to look like a basket ball so you should fluff the feathers lightly all over the bird before you enter the show ring and after each time you handle it in the areas of wich you may have flatened the feathers so the judge see's that you pay attention the birds best appearance at all times). Try to keep the bird in it's breeds special pose that you'll find in the APA or ABA while your in the show ring, wether the juge is looking at you or not (judges tend to notice you even when they arn't looking in your direction). Lots of handling of your bird well before you go to the fair will enable your bird to be more used to the constant handling and attention it recieves from you. While your doing this you can work on teaching your bird to pose for longer lenghts of time. Don't forget to reward good behavior with a treat as this will keep your bird more enthusiastic to learn new tricks (no treats in the show ring though). Last but not least, don't forget to smile, judges like smiles.
I hope this helps. I used be in 4-H also and did showmanship every year so I know what is looked for most of the time in the show ring. Good luck!
I used a clicker to help my daughter get her chickens comfortable with the showmanship routine. Our chickens love grapes and were quick to catch on that a click meant a tiny piece of grape. Hold out grapes, click the clicker when they come up for one.
So, she'd hold them upside-down, click, hey a grape. Hold the wing, click, grape. They got comfortable in a hurry.
The clicker works great for teaching the walk, also. Touch the chicken behind the leg with a bamboo stick. When it takes a step, click and treat. If the chicken won't take a step, getting her started by luring with the grapes is helpful. I have noticed that chickens who live in more of a free-range environment are much more active and much more willing to walk than a chicken that has been living in a cage. So, if you can get your chicken a protected run, this is a good thing.
There are several books out there about clicker training dogs. It's the same technique regardless of species. I highly recommend "Reaching the Animal Mind" by Karen Pryor as a general overview, but there are probably other clicker training books that are more recipe oriented.
Your chicken will not be judged much on its quality with respect to the standard of perfection, but she will be judged on her condition: good weight, quality of feathers, etc. If you are showing a hen, and she lives with a male, you may have an issue with the rooster damaging the hen's feathers.
Smaller chickens are easier for your to handle, if you have choices. You also want a good mix of docility and activity - not so much that the chicken hops off the table, but enough so she walks.
Wash your chicken sometime during the week before the show.
With feather-footed breeds, you want to keep them out of the mud. With clean-legged breeds, make sure to check for stubs. A little baby oil on legs, comb, and wattles brightens them a bit.
During the class, stand at attention and listen carefully. Make eye contact with the judge frequently. Be ready to answer questions about your chicken and its breed - you should know the varieties, the class, what color eggs it lays, etc. The questions get harder as you move to the upper levels, so the more you read, the better prepared you will be. Backyard Poultry magazine and the Standard are great places to pick up a lot of information quickly and pleasantly.