Need help/tips/advice on showing Polish chickens!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Anne, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Anne

    Anne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    So... my husband and started out with a nice trio bearded silver laced Polish. I think we have some show prospects in their first batch of offspring. I went to the poultry show at the fair to check out some of the competition, and here's what I saw:

    1) Every last Polish bird was hunkered down in it's cage, not moving and looking miserable. I mean, they're sort of miserable birds in general (considering that they can't see anything) but I imagine that not being able to see anything with all that noise and commotion must be overwhelming. Any way to prevent this?

    2) Some of the birds with bigger crests were SOAKING wet all down their front and crests soggy from water. The water dishes in the coops were round plastic bins, so every time they would dip their head in for a drink, the crest would get saturated and water would run down their entire body. Is there a different sort of watering container I could affix to the cage that would stop this problem?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. LilPeeps

    LilPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    SE Mass
    It would be a good idea to get your birds used to being in a cage and in a show-type environment. Also, those birds at the show may not have been in full health, or there may be any other number of reasons for their lack of vigor.

    As for the wet crests, most won't even offer the birds water until after judging, as it can make a huge difference if a judge is on the fence about whether to pick the bird with the wet crest or the one with the nice dry one. You may even lose out to a bird of lesser quality simply because yours wasn't showing to its full potential. You want them to be able to fully evaluate your bird.

    I hope this helps, and I'd love to see pics of your trio [​IMG]
  3. Anne

    Anne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    Hi Julie! Thanks for the advice. [​IMG]

    I got my trio from Sylvia Babus -- don't have any recent pics of them, and it's probably a good thing -- my first attempt at crest-trimming wasn't exactly pretty, LOL!

    I emailed Sylvia yesterday and, if you're interested, here is what she said:

    Hi Anne.
    My first comment is that I never show at Fairs. These are multi day affairs and usually way too hard on the birds.
    If you want to do this, as opposed to show at real poultry shows (do you get the poultry press? they have notices from all over). The standard poultry shows are much better set up and easier on the birds.

    If you want to show at the Fair, do NOT use the drink cups they provide. I use the pop-bottle waterers -- these cost about 1.50 apiece, and can be purchased from any poultry supply place -- consist of a plastic tray and a spring. You need a beer or pop bottle (I always use glass) fill it with water, stick the round chamber of the plastic waterer on top of the bottle, invert it, and use the spring to attach the bottle to the inside or outside of the cage. This nifty waterer has a narrow 'finger' of plastic that holds water and will stay full. The birds find it easily, and it is so narrow that they can't dunk their faces in it. Some cages work well with these, so that you put the pop bottle on the outside, and let the 'finger' of the waterer poke through the wire. At poultry shows, I prefer to put the pop bottle in the corner, secured with the spring across the front of the bottle, and hold the bottle up high enough (not a good idea to have the bird drinking vessel close to the floor) with an upside down can of Coke (or whatever), or you could use a six inch piece of 2x2. Or you find some other appropriate thing to stick under it (cannot be too light, or the birds could dislodge it, spilling all the water). Sorry. You probably know about pop bottle waterers?
    I also do not use any supplied food dishes. I take my own good plastic food cups that hang on the wire of the cage; and I do not feed them until after judging. (idea: reduces the poop, avoids distortion of the crop).

    Does this help?

    Birds can be trained to get used to confinement in show cages. Set some up at home, get the birds used to being in there -- stick you rhand in with treats for them so they see the human hand as a good thing, etc. Play radios to accustom them to noise, etc.


    I looked up the "pop bottle waterers" online, this place has them, what a great idea! Didn't even know something like that existed until now.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    WOW really helpful thread here. I plan on showing my polish girl next year so I will be sure I"m prepared! Good luck to you too.
  5. Amcard

    Amcard New Egg

    Mar 30, 2013
    I give mine water during a show! but they are in waters designed to keep the crest dry, my birds WILL NOT show thirsty! they pant and lay down. They do not like going with out water and especially if you travel far to get the the show. now food just a couple pieces of dog food but not to much cause when we are full we dont like showing. :D

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