4H Showmanship Questions...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bantam0907, May 3, 2011.

  1. bantam0907

    bantam0907 Songster

    May 18, 2010
    Im a 4H'er and i was just put on this years showmanship team! And I have never participated in showmanship and ive only been showing for a year, YIKES! lol any information world be greatly appreciated. Ive printed things off the internet but any first hand information would be great! [​IMG]

  2. roysnider

    roysnider Chirping

    Oct 23, 2010
    Mena, AR
    My daughter is in 4-H. She has been showing chickens since the county fair last year. She has done showmanship in 4 different shows. Showmanship is not hard but you need to know your facts. What facts I'm referring to is probably on the papers that you printed off as well as knowing the info about the breed of chicken you choose to use for your showmanship. Not all judges judge showmanship the same. The judge in Shawnee was really hard on my daughter. The judges in Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, and Eldorado were good with her. The judge will ask general info like what is your breed and variety and may ask what is something special about your bird. They may ask what type of feed you feed your chicken, They may ask what type of coop/pen you house your chicken in. They may ask what you did to prepare your chicken for the show (the more you tell them, the better as long as what you tell is correct). They may ask what things might cause your bird to get disqualified or what are some of the defects of your birds breed. They may ask you where the covert feathers are or any other part of the bird. It is best to know your parts of the bird. There are many good articles out there at most State Colleges that have Poultry divisions. The standard attire for showing is black pants and white show. You need to look nice. Also, can wear a jacket (you know like a doctor wears). It is not required but most people who win have one on. It just looks nicer. They will judge you on how you hold your bird and how you get it in and out of the cage and possibly also how you pass it to and from the judge. They will judge you on the condition of your bird (cleaniness, broken feather, body weight, good heath, tame and manageable). They will also judge you on how you greet the judge and how you treat others around the show. They may be walking around watching all the kids. They may judge you on your overall knowledge of Poultry in general.
    They all seemed to ask the same things at all the shows she went to. Some adding some more and some asking less. At three of the shows she was 2nd place in her grade category and 2 of them she was 2nd in all the showmanship grade categories. The same guy beat her at 2 of the shows that we know of.
    Showmanship is fun and you learn a lot about chickens which can help you in taking care of your birds.
    Univ of Connec has some good questions to review (not all questions will be asked but any of them could be)
    OK St Univ also has some helpful diagrams of the Male and Female Chickens
    Unic of Conn has some pics of how to take bird in and out of cage properly.
    Hope you do well and are able to help other students learn how to do showmanship.
  3. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    I do showmanship at our county fair but I'm moving up to the Adult Open Shows so I won't be doing showmanship there. But the older you are the harder the questions. My sister got asked the name of hers, the feed she feeds them, housing and body parts. She was in the grades 3-5 category. I'm in the high school category and the judge went over our parts and then would ask us more indepth questions about the breed we chose to use in showmanship. I used a bantam ameraucana so we went into detail with them. the other guy in my class (there were only two) he used a bantam sumatra and I can only assume they went into detail with them as well. Our tie breaking question was "what is the difference between an Araucana and an Ameraucana." Well I had this one in the bag because I don't know how many times I've explained it! It will all depend on your judge and your age. I would know every end and out of the breed you will use. I have all kinds of useless Ameraucan info stored up just for showmanship this coming year. Know the history of the breed! Also know some of the commonly missed body parts like the bean of a duck (the thing on the tip of the bill) and the axel feather (the feather inbetween the primary and secondary feathers).

    This is all I can tell you. It basically boils down to did you listen to people and absorb the information and did you do your homework!

    Good luck!
  4. High Roost Ranch

    High Roost Ranch The Chicken Whisperer

    What showmanship age group are you in? That will determine what type/degree of difficulty of questions that will be asked. If you have a Standard of Perfection, either from ABA or APA, familiarize yourself with that, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, become very familiar with the breed of chicken you will be using for showmanship. What class it's in, what color variety, faults specific to that breed, etc. Learn how to coop in (face the bird INTO the coop), coop out (face the bird OUT from the coop), when removing. Know the proper way to pass a bird to the showmanship clerk (face it towards them), learn the different types of internal parasites and external parasites (3 of each should be good to start with). Know the difference between pullet and hen, cockerel and cock. FYI, surprise question may be something like what is a chicken's internal temp-that would be 106 degrees. Know the external body parts of your chicken, and if you're in an advanced age group, know the different feather groups and the part of the feather-shaft, barb, fluff, etc. Know what you feed, how much and WHY you feed such a feed. If you brush up on all of that, you should have a good basis on what they'll cover at a showmanship class. The younger groups are very elementary in what they are expected to know, the older showmanship groups should have very detailed knowledge of what they should know.
  5. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    Quote:When you hit the last group of showmanship they expect you to know A LOT! My judge asked me detailed questions about type and history of my Ameraucanas.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    The American poultry Association publishes a very inexpensive book on showmanship. When I got mine it was $3.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    As was said earlier, giving a more extensive answer is better. I was at the table grading the score cards and also at the table observing round robin. Be adept at handling your bird, know more than the minimum answer. For example, one age group of kids during round robin were asked what to do if you find mites. Every one of them said "dust with sevin." While that is a correct answer, there are also other ways to treat mites, and if overused, the mites can become resistant to sevin. If someone had mentioned using flea/tick spray, shampoo or dip, permethrin dust, spraying the coop, or any of various alternative treatments as well as using sevin, it would have been to their benefit. In general, the kids who provided more than a brief answer scored better than those that gave the minimal answer, even if it was correct.

    Don't just know your bird's breed and variety, but know your individual bird--what are its best points, and what are its faults and/or DQs. Know WHY you feed your bird whatever you feed him/her, not just WHAT you feed.

    Wearing lab/judging coats must be a regional thing. Kids here are required to be in official 4H or FFA uniform, or if not affiliated with a club, a similar dress code. Basically white shirt (tucked in) with a scarf or ribbon at the neck, nice jeans with a belt. FFA wears a jacket.

  8. roysnider

    roysnider Chirping

    Oct 23, 2010
    Mena, AR
    Quote:The lab coats were worn at Shawnee, OK Poultry show, Fayetteville, AR Poultry show, Eldorado, AR Poultry Show and Pine Bluff, AR Poultry Show. All of these shows were for Junior and Open. According to all the judges we have talked with regarding showmanship the lab coat is a norm. We saw several FFA and 4-H clubs that were all wearing the lab coat. Rachael wore a white shirt and black jeans at all of these. We have since bought her a lab coat.
    And yes, they did ask where the axel feather was at all the shows.
  9. DKPoultry

    DKPoultry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2010
    I am a first year 4-H leader and have a kid wanting to do showmanship, so I started the research on what was required and the like... anyways, there are some very helpful videos on Youtube that I had my kid watch... this is just one example and companionanimals has several videos posted on the subject....
  10. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    Having been a 4-H leader for many years, and a 4-H judge, I can say there are a number of subjective things that can tip the balance in a kids favor, if all other things are equal.

    When meeting the judge, if possible, shake his or her hand firmly. Make eye contact, and SMILE! Be in clean clothing, regardless if you have a show coat or not. Dirty t-shirt and jeans does not show respect for the process.

    Your showmanship bird should be reasonably tame, and used to being handled. It should have been recently washed, and be well groomed (beak and nails trimmed, etc.)

    Act as if you're interested. I know you might be nervous, but if you show you have a love of poultry that is going to shine through, and can really make a difference. If it seems like you really don't care, the judge will know it.

    Be polite. It's not a bad thing to use "Sir" or Ma'am" when speaking with the judge.

    And as the others have said, study, and practice!
    Last edited: May 5, 2011

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