Show Quality Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by mustangsaguaro, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    I am not into showing but am wondering how can you tell if you have a show quality chicken? I am going to be hatching out some Ameraucana chicks soon and am wondering when the chicks hatch how can I tell if any of them will be show quality or not? Or are newborn chicks hard to tell if they will be show quality or not, and one must wait until they are a little older? If that is the case at what age would that be?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    To get true "show quality" you'll have to wait till they are adults and compare to the standard of perfection. Not all birds will meet all points, but the more the better.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    You will have to wait to know that. And then you may have to show it even to get a judge's opinion, some people say. Some traits that will disqualify a bird may not show up till a couple or three months old.
  4. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    Quote:If they are the true Ameraucana not the EE they can be shown. If you join the APA you can buy a book of standards that will give you a outline on what your birds should look like. You will have to let them mature some. The only ones I sell for pets, meat etc. are the ones with crooked toes or comb defects. There is a gal on here that has show quality Ameraucanas, you could do a google search for Pips&Peeps. Her birds are beautiful. It takes time and Im new to showing chickens as well, but Im thinking its just going to take lots of practice. [​IMG]
  5. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    I don't think you'll be able to tell until they are older. I think you can a general idea with some breeds, such as Silkies (good separation of toes and feather type can be seen early on) but most breeds you won't be able to how well they fit the standard until they are mostly grown.
    You can look up the breed standard for Ameraucana breeders club website.
    For other breeds, the APA has some links on their website.
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    You usually cannot tell on newly hatched chicks if they will be show quality or not. You can see if they breed characteristics are there, but you will have to wait until they are around 20 weeks when the full plumage comes in.

  7. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    Well, in my humble opinion, there is just NO SUCH THING as a show quality chicken. What good breeders do, is breed their birds as close to the APA Standard of Perfection as they can.

    Now before anyone flies off the handle, let me say this:

    I have shown six different species of animals in my life. Rabbits, chickens, horses, rabbits, goats, and sheep. All in open sanctioned shows. And it boils down to this, each and every time you show, it is just ONE person's opinion on ONE particular day. Even though judges are supposed to be unbiased, and many do try, personal preference gets in the way again and again. Some judges know more about certain breeds, some judges like a certain "look", some judges like a certain age, some judges just don't want to look silly and look up something they're unsure of. If you want nice animals, look for someone advertising birds bred to the standard, not someone advertising show quality. Because, as I said, there's no such thing.

    As another point, even getting an animal with a proven show record doesn't mean you will be getting a show quality animal. Conditiong goes a long way toward show turnout, and what's popular in one area of the country may not be popular in another.

    And (goodness, am I long winded or what!) in many of the animals I have had, the "show quality" animals aren't the ones producing the nicest offspring. I've got some just terrible looking brood does (rabbits) in my barn that are around because they are the best mommas and through the best babies. Looks aren't everything folks! My portly (ok rotund at the moment) Nubian doe that's too short to ever do well in the show ring throws me the loveliest babies and always has multiples as well.
  8. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    There is a gal on here that has show quality Ameraucanas, you could do a google search for Pips&Peeps. Her birds are beautiful.

    Thank you Christina!!!!! [​IMG]

  9. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    It is true that all judges are not alike and that they have their favorites. But, there are some breeds you can't get around their quality. Example, Golden and Silver laced wyandottes, if they don't have the nice lacing on the feathers, you might as well give it up on showing that bird. I have one of the worst golden laced I have ever seen. It is mostly brown and hardly any lacing. Barred Rocks also have definite barring qualities. I have seen some that has large patches of black on them. I learned just recently that a bantan buff brahma cochin hen is judged partially on their width where their back meet their tail feathers. The wider the better. I have two hens, and I can now see the difference, one is wide and the other is narrow. There are show quality animals out there. They might not always throw show quality babies, but that is what keeps us raising more. Our 4-H kids are doing a bang up job when it comes to learning about how idividual chickens are judged. I get so impressed to see 10yr olds able to tell the judges specifically what qualities they need to look for in their birds according to the American Standard of Perfection. [​IMG]
  10. Kev

    Kev Crowing

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    ksacres, I'll leave aside the judging for the most part.

    I think the point is more like show STOCK vs NON-show STOCK.

    The difference between the two can be night and day. Hatchery *stock* cannot compare to show *stock* Polish/Silkie/etc. The gap between them is huge.

    You are right, though, that it is a major mistake to assume that every bird out of show stock will be a winner. Many will fail the grade for various reasons or may be good but not quite enough to win a large show. This is a problem with people who buy eggs from show stock expecting ALL of the chicks to grow up to be show winners. Even the best and most serious breeders tend to hatch hundreds of chicks and cull very hard down to however many/few they keep for breeding or showing.

    For showing it still is best to acquire show stock in hopes of breeding towards the winning standard- because it is those birds that are far more likely to have the right genes in the breeding group to maybe hit on the few that has more of the desired genes. This chance is far lower than with say, the typical hatchery stock.

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