How to get into Showing?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Elyssia001, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Elyssia001

    Elyssia001 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2012
    Let me first clarify that I do not own a chicken yet. I do plan on getting into raising chickens within the next year. In addition to raising birds to lay and eat (very interested in the Heritage dual purpose birds), I am also interested in breeding to improve the breed, not just to repopulate the ranks.

    I've never been to an animal show of any sort, other than the county fair 4H as a kid. As someone completely new to the field, I have several questions I'd love some help with answering. Assuming I have a chicken of my own in a year:

    1) What kind of red tape must I go through to be able to participate in a show?

    2) Is there more than one type of show, or is everything through the same association?

    3) From everything I've read, hatchery chicks aren't an option for a serious competitior. What's the best way to find a reputable breeder?

    4) How much traveling should I expect?

    5) What's the least stressful way to travel with a chicken?

    6) Do show chickens need special feed?

    7) How do you groom a chicken?

    8) Are there any SOP chicken guru's who would be willing to take me under their wing?

    Thanks in advance for your patience with me.
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    1) it all depends on where you live. Different shows require different things. I think it is a lot more serious in the US to get into a show. They require health testing on the birds.

    2) Usually there are at least 2 shows in your area. An agricultural fair and a provincial (State in your case) show. There are Nationals every year, and the location changes every year. Depending on where your National is held, there may be A LOT of travelling, or none at all if it is being hosted close to your home.

    3) Best way to find a breeder is to go to a thread on BYC for the breed you are interested in showing. Ask around. Get multiple opinions on who has really good stock of your breed of choice. Read the standard really closely before purchasing and try to stay away from any birds that don't meet the standard.

    4) Refer to answer #2

    5) Least stressful way... You want to cage train your birds prior to the show. They will get used to the cages and travelling will be no biggy for them. Make sure they have plenty of room in their kennels when you take them to the show. If you over crowd, they can easily die from the stress.

    6) Most show people have their birds on higher protein diets. I've heard 22% a lot. Most don't use layer, because it damages kidneys on birds that are not laying. I suggest a game bird feed. That's what many well respected breeders/showers use.

    7)You don't have to bathe every chicken you show, but crested breeds should probably get a bath. I blow them dry (you can do this under a heat lamp as well). Apply Vaseline to their legs, comb and beak for shine. Clip their toenails and beak. Make sure they have no bugs on them. If they do, dust with poultry dust, or wood ash. Check again before the show and reapply if needed.

    8)I'm no guru.. and that's not really a question :p

    I show silkies, houdans, geese and barred rocks.

    Last time we washed them outside in pots and blew them dry. My fiance had just cleaned the house, so I was not allowed washing them inside.. However, next time I will. :p It provided for cute pictures though :)

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