I thought this would be a good how-to for people just getting into showing. I tried to make it as simple and to the point as possible. This is what I have learned showing my own birds. Might be a good post to make sticky for others to find easily, just a thought... and if there are any questions or things that I may have left out please let me know and I will add them As far as getting your birds ready for show I will give you the simple steps. I show Bantam Cochins, but a lot of steps apply to all breeds. *6-8 weeks before show pluck any broken damages feathers. It will take them that long to grow back in. *a few days to a week before show give them a bath. I usually have to wash mine closer to the show date because my birds are kept outside with access to mud. Trim nails and beaks and check feathers for broken or damaged ones and pluck them, do this all BEFORE the bath in case of any blood and keep styptic powder handy. Nails and beaks are cut just like trimming a dog's nails and you can use a nail file to smooth them down and give them a natural look. (I wash my birds the same way I groom dogs) I place the bird in the tub and hose it down real good. I use shampoo in mixing bottles (dawn works good too) and lather the bird up good. It will take a couple times to get the bird fully wet. Be careful not to get the head wet. lather bird untill fully wet and soapy and an old toothbrush can be used to scrub feet and poopy feathers. If the bird is white or partly white you can use whitening shampoo or blueing (about a tsp in a quart of mixed soap) let that sit for about 5-10 minutes and then rinse VERY well. If you don't get all the soap out the feathers will dry stuck together or clumpy looking. *wrap them in a towel for about 20 minutes and then blowdry in the direction of the feathers unless silkie or frizzle then dry opposite the direction of the feathers. For the birds that are not fluffy I think air drying would be fine. The blow drying fluffs them up. Make sure to keep them warm and away from drafts. When you coop in *put vet rx or some kind of vicks smelling stuff on combs and wattles *check for poopy butts and feet (baby wipes are good for fresh poo) metal flea combs and slicker brushes work well for combing out for dried poo *baby oil can also be used on combs (not too much) and on the legs of clean-legged breeds *for breeds with a crest an auto waterer with the pop bottle should be used so that they don't get their crest wet (wet feathers and food is a recipie for a big mess) As far as training goes for shows it should end up being natural for them. I handle mine regularly and spread wings, feet, hold beak and examine head, etc. to look for structure, possible injuries, parasites, feather condition, color, etc. When you get in the habit of this from youngsters, they are pretty much already trained and stay that way so there is not much extra to do. If you have a skittish breed they should get accustomed to being in a small cage and being put in and taken out of it. I also like to spray my birds periodically with adams flea spray under each wing, near the vent, and on the back of the neck (one good squirt in each spot) especially after shows or about once a month.