question about feather footed show birds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by crysmom, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    OUr family is just starting out with chickens, my son wants to show his bantam cochins.

    I'm looking for the best ways to keep their feathered feet in tip top shape? what kind of litter ? lots of shavings? what about a run? the two we have get messy feet from going outside. Trying to figure out a way to protect their feathers any experienced suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. Kanchii

    Kanchii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lots of thick shavings! Keep outside time to a minimum, most people who show hard core don't let theirs out at all!
     
  3. countyroad1330

    countyroad1330 Thunder Snow 2009!

    Oct 15, 2007
    Oklahoma!
    I keep mine penned all day. They have plenty of space, since its just two tiny birds in one space. So far I haven't had any problems with the foot feathering. I know that some people bathe their birds before show, I will most likely be doing that with my Brahmas.

    Funny how we all have Orps in our avatars. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  4. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2008
    That's one of the difficulties with feather legged breeds. [another is leg mites-feather legged birds are very susceptible to them].
    The more feather, the more difficulty maintaining the foot-feathers. ie: Brahmas are easier than Cochins are easier than d"Uccles.
    Deep, soft litter helps as does minimal or no time outside in the dirt. Also helps to keep the feet & foot feathering clean. That's right, you need to occasionally wash their feet if yuck builds up.
    All this is part of why I no longer keep feather legged birds-not suited to a lazy guy like me!
     
  5. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    Individual cages & limited free ranging only during DRY conditions is what the top exhibitors do with their feather legged chooks. Lots of bedding in their cage also helps. I wash the feet of mine weeking during show season.
     
  6. Kanchii

    Kanchii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Mine's actually a cochin pullet ^^
     
  7. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    oops I let my range. They do have thick shavings in the coop. Has anyone tried wire or is the shavings the only way to go? Another question is when showing them if they do have damage do they take off a lot of points?
     
  8. crysmom

    crysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2007
    my limited understanding is, wire is very rough on foot feathering. and I've been told many times "Condition is everything" meaning I guess if your bird is missing feathers or scruffy there is no way you'll win against a bird without those issues
    Quote:
     
  9. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    As to the points/showing question: condition is very important. It's worth 10 points and condition is the first thing a judge sees. A poultry show is, after all, a beauty contest.
    There's an old saying that applies. "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression".
    If a judgees first impression is "look at all the broken feathers" that impression is hard to overcome. Depending on the breed/variety a judge may also wonder if a feather was broken off deliberately to hide a defect or disqualification.
    Bottom line-try to keep your show birds in good condition.
     
  10. MsMcChick

    MsMcChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mid-Michigan
    My daughter raised some d'uccles on wire and it broke their feathers all to heck. She tried with the wood floor breeder cages i'd built and had mass success and jealousy reigned at the county fair for her [​IMG]
     

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