Hey everyone! I just bought show quality silkie eggs, so I am considering showing at the Lubbock fair. What do I need to do to prepare a silkie for show? Is it dangerous to my birds health? How do I test for disease? Thanks!
One must keep in mind that there is no such thing as "Show Quality" hatching eggs, because, chick needs to be born, shown, and proven that it matches the SOP well enough to win to be called Show Quality.
If both parents won a show bigger than just a Fair, sure, I would consider it a little more legit.
Anyway, in topic - The #1 way to prep your birds is allow them to mature in a setting that they won't get broken or missing feathers, so when old enough, you find and choose a bird that matches the Standard.
So, keep the bird, if a hen, away from a bad rooster-hen ratio, and keep it away from other roosters if itself is a rooster. You don't want broken or missing feathers.
Keep it out of a seriously free ranged or harshly climate area, again, to keep the feathers from being damaged or birds health to go down.
Showing is always risky with health, but a good show requires the birds be tested for a couple diseases and requires there be no lice or mite infestations.
You can contact your state department for further information on being NPIP certified to have your birds tested, or just enter an APA Sanctioned show and your bird gets its blood drawn and tested there.
But honestly, just remember, if you truly mean to show outside the 4-H and Fair world, it's about breeding too, not just obtaining a show bird and flaunting it about. Doing that is taking credit for someone else's work.