How do I get into showing chickens?


7 Years
Sep 29, 2012
I'm new to this and of course I think my birds are beautiful and would love to show them if I can!

First off, how do you know if your birds are "show quality"? I have been in the dog showing world for a bit... is it similar?

How do you show the birds? What goes on at the shows? How do you prepare?

So many questions that I don't even know how to ask. I would love to know more!!
first off to make sure your birds are " show quality" check with the standard of perfection for your breed and they should have your bird requirments like your bird must be handled easlily calm and can not be aggressiveor it mat be disqualifyed.
For just learning, I think the county fairs are a good place to start. It won't tell you whether or not your birds are good quality, but it is fun and lets you see how it works without any pressure. There is usually not much competition. Although that depends upon the fair. Some of them have some excellent birds entered, but mostly, it is not where the top birds are shown. So, you can just go and enjoy the experience and not worry about whether you can win or not.

You will need a Standard of Perfection. It's a lovely book and well worth the cost.

Shows are listed in The Poultry Press, but if you sign up for your state's thread in where am I where are you here on BYC, someone will be talking about local shows when they are happening.

If you are showing chickens or turkeys, they will need to have a bath before the show., They are placed in their cages at the show and judged in the cages. Unless you are showing Runner ducks, it is rare for the judge to have a bird out of the cage.
I would recommend you find some local shows to attend ,go and watch,ask question
talk to as many people you can. You'll find that show people for the most part are very friendly and willing to help
As mentioned get yourself a Standard of perfection book and study your breed. Showing birds is similar to dos I have done both
you'll need to keep your bird in good condition, mites/lice free .If necessary bath them.Handle them regularly to calm the down
you don't want a wild bird in a small cage ,the could damage a feather this would go against them for condition.most states require that the bird are tested NPIP some states require that birds are also tested for Avian Influenza ..Once you get to the show there are little things you can do to make your bird look better ,you'll learn these things as you go.. once the judging starts sit back ,talk to strangers meet new friends ask alot questions, enjoy the food and relax

Hi Jacquij,

You've come to the right thread to learn more and there are many wonderful and helpful people on this forum with tons of experience. I also have a strong dog show background and I'm new to showing Poultry. I had the same questions you did about showing. In the world of dogs the AKC does sessions at the shows for those people interested in learning more and they also have brochures on getting into the sport. It isn't quite the same with Poultry. Everyone gave me sound advice, but I wanted details;

1. How do you get show premiums or entry info? There are several magazines - the Poultry Press and a free on-line magazine called Exhibition Poultry. I also found at least one on-line site that listed all the shows and tips for bathing, etc.

2. How soon are entries due? With dog shows they are always 2 1/2 weeks before the show date. With Poultry shows it's generally about three weeks but this can vary.

3. What do you need to enter and the cost? You will almost universally need a Pullorium test done on the birds you're showing. It's done by a certified "Tester" and is a blood test taken from the bird's wing. It could cost? One of the testers I know does all 4-H members free, another charged a dollar per bird, but I had to drive the birds to his house. Start looking early, since some people only do their own birds. I had a terrible time finding someone who would test my birds. I'm in WI and we also need a "premise ID" it's free from the State. I just did a search and a state site came up. They actually took my application over the phone. Cost to enter the shows could be $2.00 to $3.50 per bird (seems cheap compared to dog shows)

4. Yes, do go to a few shows without entering watch, ask questions and learn. Talk to Breeders and the Juniors are also very helpful. There are "Open" shows and "Junior shows" for children under 18 years - correct me if I'm wrong but they age out at 18. Both shows go on at the same time.

5. When you arrive at the show, report to the Show Secretary's table, pick up an Exhibitor's list, look up,your name and it will tell you your crate number. All your birds will have this number. For example your number might be 1234. So the coop card on the front of the cage would be for example: bearded Silkie white Pullet #1234. You must be cooped in at a certain time. Usually 8:30 or 9:00 am, when the judging begins. The Judge goes down the Aisles judges each bird and will sometimes write abbreviated comments on the card and placements - anywhere from 1st through 5th. At the end of the show you are cooped out - so you cannot remove your bird until this time. You will also need to take your coop card with the placement written on it to the secretary to get your ribbon (they usually give 1-4 placements.

I hope this helps:)
Thank you so much guys!! You have no idea how much help you have been! I plan on going to my first show to watch with a couple of friends also interested. We are so excited! I've been reading the standard and I think my silkie has a chance. Haha guess only a few shows will tell! I can't wait to get started. :)
Thanks Gagirly! I am in GA. Can you send me a link for it? I would love to go!
NEGAPFA.COM They have a flyer on the show. I'll be going to this one and bringing at least 12 (probably more). I show bearded belgian d'uccles, old english game bantams and call ducks. I'll be bringing some of each. If you and your friends want some hands on experience, message me your phone number and I can call you when I get there on Friday before the show. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have and if you don't mind getting up early, you can meet me at the show Sat. at 6:00 and help with the final prep before they're judged. The help would be appreciated and you would learn a lot.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom