How do I get started in showing?

Not open for further replies.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 9, 2009
Western NC
I want to start showing ducks, but I'm truly clueless about how to start. There's a show in April that I'd like to compete in, but I can't find anything about it other than the date!

I have numerous questions, such as how to find shows, how to prepare birds, entry fees, etc. I mean I'm lost here! Can I only enter breeds that are recognized by the American Poultry Association?

We enjoy dog shows, and I know the dog people spend hours primping and fluffing their pooches. Is it the same with poultry? Do the judges just open the cages and examine the birds themselves, or are the ducks somehow "presented" by handlers? Feel free to laugh at my questions now because I hope to be a force to be reckoned later.
(That is if my kids get into it.)

Is there a book or something out there to get us started?



10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
Central NC
There are various types of Shows, like dogs, the Real shows are santioned by either the American Poultry Association(=AKC in dogs) or the American Bantam Association(ABA small "Bantam' chickens and ducks only). Some breed clubs exist but they usually hold their shows along with and part of the larger shows. One big difference is that dogs earn points for themselves and records are kept on individual dogs. Poultry earn points for the people who enter them in shows. Mr. big bucks can buy winners at this week's show and enter them as his in next week's show. If they win again (don't count on it!) the points go on his record, the birds are not IDed or recorded.
Yes people prepare the birds for the shows, think of washing a couple dozens chickens and blow drying them! Most waterfowl people just raise their birds so they aren't in the mess that people here are always talking about and let them do their own bathing and preening. They will scrub feet and legs if needed, and wipe off the bill just before judging starts. Birds generally need to be trained to ignore all the people that pass by his cage, freaking out doesn't promote winning. A "good shower" shows himself to the judges as a proud bird often will do. The judges have the option to open cages and handle birds, usually they don't, there are just too many to be judged. the top 4 or 5 may be handled to see the fine detail that can make the difference beetween 1st and 2nd. Runner ducks are judged in a ring like cattle because their gait and posture is very important for the breed.
When you are talking about 4H shows there is a showmanship class where the child handles and presents his bird to the judges and is expected to answer questions (actually the Kids are getting judged, not the birds)
To get started, find and read the APA and the ABA websites. Join the APA and look through their online stores for books that will help. Keep an eye out for poultry clubs near you and join them to get personal contacts that can help with day to day questions and give you hands on experience. (they can also tell you if your birds are show quality or not. Finally susbscribe to the Poultry Press, It lists All the shows and provides contact inform on where to sent your entries and deadlines. Many shows now require advanced entry. so they will have cage space for you.
Good Luck!
Not open for further replies.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom