Black Star chickes, which to choose to show?


In the Brooder
May 7, 2016
My son has 12 Black Star chickens from 4-H and we have to choose 3 of them to take to our fair to be judged. My question is, they are all hens I do believe or should be but some are all black with bluish feathers and some have beautiful brown necks! What are the judges looking for in a prize winning Black Star Pullet?
I'm not familiar with 4-H showing, but since Black Stars aren't a real breed there's no standard for them, so I don't know what a judge would be looking for in them. In an APA show, they just wouldn't win since they're not a real breed. You could maybe ask in this thread and they may be able to tell you.

Additionally if none of them are barred, you have all hens.
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They are a cross breed, done for the purpose of easy and reliable sexing at hatching. There is no standard of perfection, so there is nothing for a judge to compare your birds to. In 4-H the birds aren't getting judged. It's the handler that is being assessed. Good luck.
With 4h in SC, hybrids (Blk stars & red stars) are all judged to what the judge likes. My suggestion would be to take 3 different ones. Give the judge a copper necked one, the one with the most Blk, and one with the most sheen(blue or green). Then the judge will choose from there.
I know it's probably not the answer you want but, it is the best one since your birds are sex-linked hybrids with not SOP to go by.
Also you can contact your 4h extention office and ask your lead rep and see what they recommend based on past shows.
Good luck and I hope your son gets 1st place.
It is confusing to people. It would be nice if these clubs would use purebred birds instead. 4H shows that "grade" or judge commercial hybrids are judging the performance of the 4H student in raising the bird to size and health. That's it.

No, the Black sex links are not breeds and wouldn't be entered in a sanctioned show. At local 4H shows there rarely are licensed judges and the "judge" is just someone helping out the fair. Generally, winning birds look mature, have a shine on their feathers and well cared for. That's it. That's all that can be "judged" so to speak.
Your leader needs to guide you here. The criteria seems to vary widely from region to region.

Is he entering the birds separate, or as a production group? That can make a difference. In the group, the judges here at least seem to want uniform birds, even if they're not the best examples.

Regardless, you want a nice large bird, wide bodied, smooth glossy feathers. You want a nice straight comb, not wavy or crooked. No obvious issues like crossed beaks or crooked toes.

For most folks the classic black Star has the red/gold at the throat/neck/chest. That's what I would look for as far as color-wise.
If the birds are being entered in a Production class, they will most likely be judged on how well they will lay/are laying eggs. The judge will check their width between pubic bones, distance between the end of the keel bone and the pubic bones, bleaching of body (how much yellow pigment has been lost and placed in egg yolks), condition of feathers and body, and general health. These are all indicators of laying ability.

It is unclear whether these three pullets are entered separately or if they are a pen of birds. If they are a pen of birds, you want uniformity. Pick the three that are closest in color, body size, and stage of lay. Choose the widest, deepest bodied, best-feathered birds that have lost the most amount of pigment. You don't want an excessively fat bird, either.

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