Preparing my chickens for show?


10 Years
Sep 29, 2009
This is my third time showing. The first time went okay, the second time was horrible, so I'm giving it a third shot this year. I have three chickens that I'm taking to the fair tomorrow - Standard Old English Game, Blue Cochin, and Buff Orpington. They'll be judged on Friday. I'm not showing them, just having them in cages. I didn't need to clip their nails because they're free range, and I gave them a bath with Blue Ribbon Show Shampoo the other day, along with using a soft toothbrush on their legs and feet to get the dirt off. Someone told me I could put vaseline on the chickens comb/legs after the inspector looks them over, but wouldn't they see me and think I'm cheating or something? No offense to the person on here that suggested that. Any tips would be highly appreciated!

Also, my Buff Orpington has a little cut on her comb in front where it connects to the beak. I've been putting ointment on it and it's helped with the bleeding, but there's a black dot there now. It's not that obvious, but is noticible. Everything else besides that looks fine on her though. Would that black dot minorly or majorly effect the judges judging her you think?
Last edited:
No one will think you are cheating if you put vaseline or baby oil on your bird's comb, wattles, and feet, it's all part of show prep and most seasoned exhibitors do so (some even use VetRX to make them even redder!)

I wrote an article about conditioning and prepping for show, you can see it at the link below. Included in it is this list of things I routinely take with me to shows:

- Your NPIP form, and health certificates if needed.
- Food and water for all your birds. It sometimes helps them to drink if you start adding ACV to their water
several weeks before the show, so if you run out of your own water you can add some ACV to the water at the
show and the birds will recognize the taste.
- Extra shavings, just in case (if you have room.)
- Some Baby Oil or Vaseline, for putting around eyes and beaks to make them shine (not too much!)
- Some folks use Pink Spray, or Show Sheen to spray their birds with, I find it tends to attract dust (and I don't
care for the smell.) You decide.
- Paper towels, you never know if you'll need some.
- Baby wipes to remove any last minute stains.

Here's the link to the rest of the article:

Good luck at your Fair! Come back and tell us how it went.
Put it on them right as you put them into the cages. Don't do it before you go, do it just as you coop them in. Rub it in well, you don't want them to be sticky.
Last edited:
Thank you. I...kinda already put it on them before I got this message, sorry. But they were kept in a wire cage and are already at the fair. Nothing got on them, so that was good. And all four of them passed inspection. I'm nervous about them being judged tomorrow though. They get judged at 10am so please keep them in your thoughts.
You might need to reapply the vaseline tomorrow morning before they are judged. That is usually when my kids do their last minute show prep. Good luck!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom