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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Miller Farm, Mar 15, 2013.
It's my son's second year and he is not very experienced. Any tips?
Well, get a show chicken! Haha. There is a lot to cover. I would check the 4-H websites, and do LOTS of research. May I recommend a chicken? My Favorite is Silkies. Check the below links, and many others! Get as educated as possible! Good luck!
Well as far as the actual showing and preparing part goes there's a lot I can tell you. To begin you wan tot pick the birds that will be closest to the SOP. Then keep them away from the rooster about 1.5-2 months ahead of time. Pluck any broken feathers now so they will have time to grow back in. Then about two to three days before give the bird(s) a bath. DO NOT WASH THE BIRD RIGHT BEFORE THE SHOW! They need time to get the oil back in their feathers. To begin get three buckets of water ready. Fill one with regular old dish soap/shampoo. The next with white vinegar. For the last tub just use regular water. If the bird has a lot of white feathers you can add an additional tub with bluing dye in it. ONLY ADD A VERY SMALL AMOUNT. Too much and you will have a blue bird instead of a white bird. Now take the bird and wash station to station. First soap, then white vinegar ( cuts the soap ), and lastly regular water. I would add the bluing dye after the vinegar rinse. Then once the bird is dry go through the birds feathers and if they have casings around the feathers get it off. Scratching at it/ rubbing it should get it off. Now that your bird is dry you can take and trim up any stray feathers around the comb to give the head a cleaner appearance. If the beak or comb is over grown trim it with a combo of nail clippers and an emery board. Fast forward to the day of the show. Get witch hazel, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and cotton balls. Put some witch hazel on the birds comb, wattles, legs, and ear lobes. If they have and poo on then you can put some hand sanitizer on the baby wipe and rub it off. Hand sanitizer dries quickly so It's good to use in emergency's. Make sure if there are a FEW discolored feathers not in the tail or wing feathers that you go ahead and pluck them. I think that is just about everything. If you have any questions I probably can answer them. Good luck showing
If you don't have any chickens yet Brahma's are always fun. Please save your self the disappointment and don't get hatchery birds to show. Get them from a breeder.
We have plenty of chickens, but we want tips on how to get ready to show them and how to show them.
Have your son pick a bird and handle it daily. For most youth Showmanship competions the handler is the one being judged, not the bird. The handleing builds trust, pose bird on tabletop-rewarding the bird when it stays in position. Your 4-H extension office should have a handout which outlines "examining the bird", head, wings, undercolor, width of body, wings, lenght of keel ... My daughters bird refused to walk last year, by remaining calm and working through the problem she earned almost as many points as she woild have if the bird had walked for her, (Buffy was afraid of the judges clipboard), she asked the judge if is could walk her bird the other way and she took Champion.
Have him study his birds breed, what class is it, variety, what is a disqualification for the breed. Learn the large and bantam classes and be able to name a few breeds from each class.
Hope this helps.
The actual showmanship is definitely about the actual person showing the bird. Make sure you know about the breed that is being shown. I usually get asked to name certain parts of the bird. Generally it's just the head or wing parts. I have been asked other parts also though. Know how to properly display a tail and wing. When the bird is brought out of the cage CLOSE the door. Most judges will mark points off if you don't. They also may ask general questions. Some I have been asked are what is a dual purpose breed. Which is just a bird that is good for meat and egg production and a brahma would be a breed that is dual purpose. They were also asking what dubbing is one year. That is when the comb, wattles, and ear lobes are cut off of the bird. It is usually just done in game males. I have also been asked to name an internal parasite and an external plus how to treat it. In your poultry book there will be a paper on showmanship and the what to grow through step by step. It's very helpful to go through that. There is way more to know about all this. I would say study the books for 4-H and see if someone who is experienced can help you. I have been doing this since 07' and only one year did I not get first on the showmanship for the fancy's.
I've been showing chickens for a while now and let me tell you, it's so much fun and it's worth your time and effort. Poultry showing is great because you don't have to spend a lot of money like other 4-h projects (cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats).
*As for the showing part
Start small! In most cases your county fairs will have poultry shows that aren't as big as say a national show.
First, you want start with giving your chickens a bath. Some of the things to think about is dry skin. You don't want to over wash your bird because that will dry the chickens skin out and in the long run will cause dull feathering. One thing about chicken showing is feathers. You want your birds feathers to be bright and shinny. That's what the judge will look for in showing. Also work with your bird everyday. You want to handle your bird as often as you can. Besides working your birds feathers and handing your birds, cage training is really important. Your going to show your bird in a "show cage". I use a small rabbit cage that I bought at tractor supply co.
Wash your bird in soap then wash again in water to get the soap out (2 barrels). Don't put to much soap in the water because it will dry your birds skin. Don't wash your bird the day of the show. Unless you have a low powered hair dryer, your bird will have to air dry which can take a while.
Day of the show:
Allow yourself time to set up your bird and for your bird to settle in. Make sure you have good bedding in your cage. Before the show, people are going to come into the barns to see your birds. Make sure they look clean.
30 minutes before the show, put some fresh bedding in the cage. Take your bird out. This is the part I call "fitting to make your bird look good". Make sure your birds feet are clean. You can clean their feet off but do not wash your bird. I just take a wet paper towel and wipe them down. Then I clean their combs and wattles off. I don't put Vaseline on their combs and wattles until 5 minutes or even sooner before the show. If you put Vaseline on too soon, your birds comb and wattles will get dirty. After the feet have been dried, put Vaseline on their feet. This helps make the bird look bright and healthy
As I was saying (I ran out of room to write lol)
Day of the show:
My secret to poultry showing is "pro gloss". This helps your birds feathers shine as much as they can. Just make sure if you do use that to wash it out after the show or when you get home. I put pro gloss on 10 minutes before the show to help keep the birds shinny.
What will the judge judge on?
All judges in the US will judge on the Standards of Perfection. If your showing hens, judges want them to look like hens not roosters. They want full plumage, even sized feet, a even sized comb and wattle that fits your birds breed, a wide breast, even back/spine. You can buy the years latest SOP.
I hope this helps anyone out there who shows poultry!
I am very new at all of this you seem to know slot why not use hatchery birds?
How do you locate ,where are some good ones, and what should I pay?
Please add anything else a rookie should know,I would like to attend a couple first I live in PA could you help me find a few Berk's,Schuylkill county please
Thank you for your help. Lynly