How do you stop your chickens getting stolen at a show?


12 Years
Aug 30, 2007
I want to start showing some of my birds in the summer, but i'm worried about them getting stolen since they have to stay at the fairground for three days, and we live an hour away. I doubt anyone would want them, but I don't want to lose my pets! Is this a real concern and can I do anything to prevent it?


chick magnet
14 Years
Jul 12, 2007
Newport, MI
its rare for your birds to get stolen. The last time I heard of birds getting stolen was in a yahoo group I joined a year ago. I should add that if you have a metal carrier like I do with a latch. Maybe you can put a master lock on the cage?
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12 Years
Oct 20, 2007
locks are not permitted at fairs, as the judge has to get in but, zippy ties are.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
Within The Matrix
Hmmm, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Typically at fairs, they have someone (or a few) people watching the birds at all times. I am usually a "herdsman" at our county fair and my job is to keep an eye on the birds. If you are that worried about it, you could always call the ag extension office and ask questions, but don't let that fear keep you from showing! Showing is a lot of fun.

Jay Bee

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 22, 2007
North Florida
Thief's are rare. Locks and zip ties are a wast of time, if someone wants your bird they will just lift up the coop and take the bird. JB


13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
Central California
Last time we went, they allowed everyone to take their birds home early because it was storming pretty bad and they didnt want people getting stuck here because of snow. But we had 5 people altogether in our group and we all positioned ourselves around the birds. We took quite a few different breeds so they were all over. One person went to one group and got them, and another person went to the other. They were all bantams, so we could grab quite a few at one time,lol.


12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
If its a fair I would make sure that they check paper work, stolen shouldn't be your main concern , disease should.

I have even been to APA approved shows where the people checking you in didnt check paper work.

These birds will be packed in together for 3 days, ripe conditions for the spread of diseases. Its why I never have brought my birds to my local country fair.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 31, 2010
(this forum looks old, I hope it's ok to still post in it...)
I would be a little concerned about people stealing birds.
Last week at one of our local fair shows, a week long show, some one stole one of my friends birds (a white silkie male.) They are just getting started in poultry and naturally they've made pets of them, so it was quite devastating for them to have their bird stolen. A few years back one of our judges, an ABA judge Robert Haws had one of his Plymouth Rock bantams stolen a silver pencil male I belive. This was at a 3 day show. We have watchers too at thease shows, but, I guess it's not enough.
I've never had one of my birds stolen, but I've recently become very concerned, Im going to try and do zip ties on the coop dors. even though anyone with a knife could cut the zip ties and get right in, they may have to tamper with the zip ties just long enough for a watcher to notice. Thats the best I can hope for anyway. To me the bird it self is more valuable then the prize or money it may win, especially if it's one you use, or plan to use in your breeding program.
One other option some times people do... lets say you have a bird that wins Best of Breed for example, you can swap that bird out with another one of lesser value to you. If you wanted you could do that with all the birds you entered, providing you have enough birds to swap them out with the same breed/variety/sex/etc.

If anyone has any other ideas or recommendations
on keeping birds safe at the shows I'd love to hear them too.

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