Preparing for a Show Months in advance

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by blueoval1, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Raleigh N.C.
    I am hoping to show birds for the first time this fall. I was wondering what I needed to be doing now so that they will be in show condition? What do I need to put in feed water? Any tips on broken feathers? Treating for mites leg and others? Do I need to do anything so that they will not get any disease from the show?

    edit to add: Im showing silkies and bantam cochins

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  2. Ive been told if they have any broken feathers to pluck them 2 months in advance, so they grow back before the show. I spray the birds down a month before the show with peremethrin and then again about a week before I bathe them for the show.

    I quarantine for at least 30 days after the show before putting them back with my flock.
  3. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Raleigh N.C.
    Thanks sundown any one else with tips?
  4. ltrader

    ltrader In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2010
    I've only shown once, so don't actually have a clue, but I was advised that good husbandry was the most important thing, that if I took good care of them they would be at their best, vague, but when we got to the show I thought my buff orpingtons from craigslist were poor (hatchery) quality but looked healthier than their other similar quality competition. They were defeated by better quality birds, but placed higher than the similar birds, I think on health and condition. I was also advised to give terramycin two days before and after a show, that apparently it is pretty common for them to pick up a bug? I would also be interested to learn more from people with more experience!

    Why quarantine for 30 days? Most diseases I can think of ( human, dog,etc) would be apparent in 14 days or so, but 30 days is commonly recommended. What issues might show up after 14 days but before 30?
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Feed a quality diet with plenty of oils and protein while they are growing feathers. Check frequently for pests/parasites and treat as needed. Keep birds whose variety is prone to turning brassy or bleaching out of sunlight. I've considered trying horse and dog spray products that claim to have UV protection to see if it prevents sunburning/bleaching. Handle the birds so they are used to being picked up, looked over and held in a variety of positions. Train them to expect and eat a treat from your hand.

    I have often thought, particularly with kids, that birds should be judged on conditioning as well as to the standard. (separate placements for each) Obviously a bird who places well is, or should be, in goood condition, but there are often a lot of very well cared for birds that are not the best quality, and a kid's efforts should be rewarded, especially when it is often not the child who selects the birds, but rather his/her parent.
  6. joe17

    joe17 Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    What oils could you feed sonoran? I have vegetable oil that I give to my horses to make them shine. I give them a bout a cap full per bucket of feed.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, flax seeds, olive oil, canola oil
  8. averytds

    averytds Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Quote:#1 on this thought. [​IMG]

    It's been a beef of mine for awhile. The 4-H judging system is set up to easily accommodate this approach as all project entries are to be judged and awarded ribbons based on their own merits first, unfortunately the judges don't necessarily follow. If/when my kids are no longer showing poultry in 4-H, should I ever be asked to judge, I plan to judge that way with an emphasis on health, followed by condition. The two things I feel are the most important and in control of the child, no matter where their stock is obtained from or what's available in their area.

    My thought on awards are
    Purple-healthy, well conditioned, to standard
    Blue-healthy, well conditioned, but with standards issues
    Red-healthy, but with conditioning and/or standards issues
    White-health issues and condition/standards issues

    With the Grand and Reserve chosen from amongst the purple ribbon winners.

    We separate the birds we plan to show at least 8wks beforehand and remove any broken feathers. We handle them every day so they're used to it. We feed well and for each bird year round, so diet depends upon the bird in question. A judge we met with at a poultry clinic recently advised including a bottle of flea/tick spray for dogs in your show kit, just in case. We've not had a problem at show, but we also bathe and pedicure 3 days before and keep the entered birds inside in cages on frequently cleaned litter. We use VetRX on their combs, wattles and for some legs/feet. I know as a tester I've encountered birds at show with mites and we did bring some home from one of our shows. We quarantine for at least 2 weeks after and give vitamins/electrolytes in their water for a few days after and antibiotics after shows that sick birds were present at. We also inspect thoroughly after our return, so we were able to spot and take care of the mites right away.

    The judges and exhibitors I've spoken with afterward always remember and have something unfavorable to say about any dirty, obviously sick or infested birds, so try not to be amongst them. If something does happen, take care of it right away or if that's not possible, remove your bird. You may not leave the show famous, but should be able to leave without being infamous.

    We take our own feed and water to all but one show, even if food and water will be available. One show is 4 hours away and lasts almost 2 wks, so that's the one we don't bring things for. We always bring health papers, treats, baby wipes (feet cleaning and touch-ups), a slicker brush for the Silkies, nail files, nail clippers, VetRX, an assortment of zip ties, a small dust pan or kitty litter scooper and brush and a trial size bottle of hand sanitizer to every show. Other things depends upon the show and birds taken.
  9. blackred

    blackred Songster

    Oct 15, 2007
    Blue Texas
    Keep in mind that if you do pull a feather for whatever reason, you run the risk of it not growing back.
    I had this happen on one of my best cock birds. After 2 years it still has not come back in, although I do use him for breeding.

    You should cut it off about 3/4's of the way down and then after about a week pull it out.

  10. Quote:I do it for 30 days because im a bit obcessive about that. I'm terrified of bringing back a disease. I want to make sure the bird did not catch anything, so I can feel fine about putting it back in with the flock.

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