How does a clueless newbie get started in showing?


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 take some Welsh Harlequins to, 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.)

My ducks free-range on our shady creek during the day and are only cooped at night. I'm guessing that serious show birds are kept more confined to protect their feathers.

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

Here's my advice:
1-Buy a Standard of Perfection before you even think about showing so you'll have an idea of what your chosen breed should look like
2-Go to a couple of shows first. Compare the birds that are winning to the Standard & then use that information to evaluate your birds. While you're there talk to people who are showing your breed. Most of us will talk about our birds all day.
3-Subscribe to the Poultry Press All the sanctioned shows in the country are listed there along with other useful information.
4-As to how you're keeping your ducks it's really the best way to keep ducks. Ducks with regular access to lots of water do a great job of caring for their feathers.
5-An advantage of showing waterfowl is they don't need the kind of show prep chickens need because again they do a great job of keeping themselves looking good. I show East Indies & when I get ready to leave for a show I spray each duck with the hose & then put them in a pet carrier. They groom themselves on the way to the show & when I get there all I hve to do is oil their legs & bills.
6-Showing poultry doesn't require a handler. The Judge goes around the show hall & judges the birds in the cages. The only exception to this is Runner Ducks that are placed in a ring so the judge can see them run.
7-Any breed/variety can be shown but only recognized breeds/varieties can receive awards beyond best of breed.

Hope this helps
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