4H and showing

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by zippitydooda, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. zippitydooda

    zippitydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Ottawa, Ohio
    We are relatively new to raising chickens. I started with chicks almost a year ago. Now my 16 yo DD is interested in 4H and showing 2 of my girls in the "fancy" chicken category.

    I have NO problem with this, I'm actually thrilled she has any interest at all in the hens. I do have a few questions though:

    1. How does one transport the chickens to/from the fairgrounds safely & comfortably? Dog carrier?
    2. What (if any) precautions should I take to make sure my girls don't "catch" any weird illness?
    3. What (if any) precautions should I take to make sure my girls don't infect the rest of the flock when we bring them home?
    4. Will removing them from the flock for a week wreak havoc in the pecking order? Can this be prevented or possibly made easier for the returning girls?

    I know my daughter's 4H advisor will probably give her some instructions, BUT she doesn't have chickens.... this is a generic, any kind of livestock club. I want to hear it from the BYC pros who have answered EVERY question I've had so far with great insight & knowledge....

    I look forward to your replies! Thanks in advance!

  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    My boys had Silkies which were shown in 4H last year. We carried them in small dog crates, but others carried them in other cages too. They were normally in the same cage at home so it didn't affect the pecking order of things. Normally they will have to be tested for disease either before or at the time of the show. At our show you could have them tested that day. They also have be free of mites an lice, so they will have to be bathed and dried before show. Believe it or not my birds liked getting a bath. I don't think there is much you can do to prevent them from catching something since they will be in cages right next to other birds. Other than feeding them yourself so no one touches your bird that has touched another, but that's usually pretty difficult to do.
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    dog crates, show crates, rabbit cages, cardboard boxes, etc. You see just about anything and everything used. Best to have each bird in its own cage/crate/box or section of a cage/crate/box, and plenty of shavings to keep feet clean.

    Some people put thier birds on a low-level does of antibiotics or vitamins/electrolites before during and shortly after a show. Most spray with flea/tick spray before loading their birds to go home, or at the very least as soon as they get home. I bathe them in dog/cat flea/tick shampoo before shows, and also treat with ivermectin.

    Keep separate for 2-3 weeks after a show; yes, it can affect pecking order--depends a lot on the particular birds, the amount of space they have and the seriousness of their pecking order.
  4. averytds

    averytds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    Same experience here for all of the above. We haven't had any serious issues with pecking order, but I attribute that to lots of space and in general our birds used to a lot of coming and going.

    We are using multi-hole show boxes this year for the bantams and plastic tubs with mesh tops and floor lining if DS takes any larger roos. We used to mostly use cages fashioned out of wire grid panels and zip-ties, which was fine for the Silkies, but could wreck havoc on the hard feathered bird's feathers if not lined with cardboard.

    Find out about any testing required for the birds and get it done ahead of time if possible. Even with the best of testers, birds can get a bit manhandled and sometimes bloody. It's not supposed to count against them in show, but well I don't see any way it couldn't. I know for my kids it was quite depressing to see a bird they'd worked so hard conditioning and primping get all messed up right before going into the cage for judging.

    Try to leave plenty of time for coop-in and be aware. If you see signs of illness in other birds at the show, report it to the show secretary. The sooner they know, the sooner something can be done.

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