Bantam Show Conditioning


In the Brooder
May 1, 2015
What do all of you do to get your Bantam Birds ready for a show? Please include that breed that you have. This is just going to be informative so that people that are now to Exhibition poultry know what to do so their birds are in the best condition possible for a show. Pictures would most likely be helpful also.
Thanks so much for starting this thread. Having shown dogs and horses in the past, I've been toying with the idea of learning more about showing bantams. I've been to a few shows but haven't had the opportunity (made the effort, more correctly) to speak to exhibitors about what all is involved beyond the basic chicken bath the night before.
I am also new. I do know that for game bantams they use a fly pen to build up muscles but no the specifics.
Come on lets see the posts.
This is a broad wide open question with as many answers as people who answer, but I will try to help.
I raise and show Modern game bantams and Old English in bantam and Standard, and have for the last 32 years. I live in Texas, and yes that makes a difference.

First off there are no magic pills or potions that will make your birds become in condition, it is a process that starts when they are chicks till you put them into the show coop. Anyone who tells you any different is selling something, either a product or themselves.
The most important thing is room- give your birds quality room. By quality I mean not just space but clean space or green space. Nothing gets a bird in better condition than being able to run thru something green. I have grow out pens that are 10'x20'x8' tall. One end is shelter and in the other I plant Milo or Wheat in early spring and then by this time it is 2-3 tall and the birds love to hang out there.
Feed- We feed a good protein feed- 18-22 % and then when the birds go on the ground we mix that feed with 1/2 wheat, this helps with feather quality. We also give the birds a moist dog food (Gainsburger type) every so often to help with Animal protein- which they need. It could also be considered a treat that helps us train them. We also use a soaked oats once they go on the ground, they may not like it at first but eventually they will and oats is good for feather quality and helps reduce fat so it gives them hard bodies.
Learn when to worm your birds, different areas require different schedules. We start worming our young birds about September or earlier if the rain starts.
Conditioning pens are for short periods and except for Modern games you really don't want your birds extremely tame. Tame enough so that they don't try to kill themselves to get away from the judge but edgey enough to show off.
I do give my birds B12 in the water a few days before and during the show to help with stress and energy.

Once again keep in mind that I raise a hard feathered type breed, fluffy breeds may take a different routine. The only other additives on my property ( besides medicine) is Cod Liver oil and fish meal that I mix into my breeders feed.
And as far as medicines - all I ever use is a Coccidiostat, a wormer ( Ivomec) and Fowl Pox vaccine.
Thanks. I love the old english bantams. What i am trying to start is a thread filled with stuff like your comment to educate the people who are new to showing in most any bantam chicken breed.

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