SHOWING ADVICE! :D

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Makayla1226, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Makayla1226

    Makayla1226 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Pennsylvainia
    Hello! I wanna start showing chickens! I've been into the chicken hobby for 5 years now and want to try new things! I'm upgrading my small coop into a huge coop that can hold over 20 chickens and getting rid of my flock of 6 egg layers, then I'm getting 15 rare Golden Duck-wing Phoenix Tail chicks! I was captured by the looks of these chickens and heard they were fair egg layers so I'm thinking I can win some shows with them. Now the question is, do I have to be in 4-H or a group to participate in shows at fairs? I can join 4-H but I'm just curious about that. Please give me advice on showing and tell me how you got started and if you enjoy it! I want as much info as I can get so I'll be prepared! Thanks- young chicken hobbyist, Makayla [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Yeah! You are in for a lot of good times!

    As for joining 4-H, i t depends on the fair and how much you want to participate. If you want to be able to do everything, it would be well worth your time to join 4-H or FFA. That way you would also learn more about chickens and showing. I joined 4-H in 9th grade and showed poultry in the Central Florida Fair for all four years of high school. I went from not knowing anything about keeping or showing chickens in my first year to getting champion poultry exhibitor last year (still in shock about that), and I know for a fact that that would not have happened if it weren't for all I learned in 4-H. (Well, there's also the fact that I had to be in 4-H to be able to be in the running for that at all...) Anyways, if you are going to take it seriously I would really recommend finding a good 4-H group in your area and joining up. At a lot of fairs, you can still exhibit if you aren't in 4-H or FFA, but you would miss out on a slew of related competitions that challenge you and not just your birds. Exhibiting is fun, but exhibiting and doing showmanship, poster contests, the skill-a-thon, etc. is REALLY fun. I woud not have come back every year if it weren't for all those other competitions and the friends I made through 4-H. It is rough knowing that I won't be able to exhibit this year, being off at college. My sister is gearing up for fair time right now and I am incredibly jealous.

    As far as advice goes, what do you want advice about? Prepping for the fair, showmanship, 4-H stuff, doing well at the fair...?
     
  3. Makayla1226

    Makayla1226 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Pennsylvainia
    Thanks for the information! I'm definitely gonna go for 4-H and I just want advice about how to prepare a chicken for a show or any tips. Anything about showing really! Thanks again! -Makayla [​IMG]
     
  4. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2012
    Awesome! You're going to have so much fun!

    Alrighty! Prepare for a barrage of information!

    Grooming for show:
    Trim their beak (if necessary) and nails to a good length a while before the show so they have time to be worn down into being nice and rounded on the ends again before showtime.
    A few days before the show, bathe the birds. We use a laundry tub. Make sure the water is nice in warm (bear in mind that chickens have a higher body temperature then people) and they should relax after the initial shock. So much so that some birds might fall asleep, so keep a close eye on them! There are lots of options for what to use for soap. Baby shampoo, glycerin, Dawn dish soap, oatmeal dog shampoo... The list goes on and on. Do some research and see what sounds good to you or what you already have lying around.
    Drying takes a long time. I wrap each chicken in a towel after they are done being bathed, finish bathing the other birds, then grab the first one to start blow drying. Most chickens like the blowdryer after they stop being terrified of if for the first few minutes. Which is good because it takes a long time to do. You will have to lift the feathers up so they start separating and drying out, and so the fluff near the base of each feather will be exposed to the air. Remember to lift their wings and dry beneath them too.
    Those phoenix tails also probably need some extra maintenance, but I've never had any and have no idea what that might entail.

    Showmanship:
    Select one of your best quality and easiest to handle birds for showmanship. You will want to work with them regularly well in advance of the fair to teach them to pose. Hold meal worms over their heads so they stand up nice and tall and prettily and work up to getting them to do it when you hold just your fingers over their head.
    The expectations for showmanship vary from fair to fair. At some, they want you to be able to talk about your bird in detail front to back, noting health problems, faults, or the lack thereof. In others, you will simply be asked questions about your bird, its breed, or chickens in general. No matter what though, you want to be able to handle your bird well and be knowledgeable about chickens.

    Skillathon:
    Most fairs that have this will give a theme and often post a study guide for it on their website. In my experience, if you study it at all you will already be ahead of the game. Look over it and you should do well.

    Other Competitions:
    For poster and egg decorating, creativity is valued. Put some extra work in and try to go in a not-obvious direction with it.



    My biggest piece of advice it to involve yourself as much as you can even if you think you are getting yourself in way over your head. That goes for 4-H, the fair, and showing. The more you do, the more you learn and have fun. You will also meet lots of great people. If you do well, you can actually make a lot of money on the fair, and it looks great for college applications and scholarships.
     

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