I’m planning on exhibiting my first birds(Silkies) at the Monroe, Georgia, show on October 20th. I am super excited, but this will only be the second show I’ve ever attended, and though I’ve read so much about showing, I still have a few questions. Show questions: #1 Are hens and pullets judged against each other, or is there a different category for each age group? #2 About how much food do you, personally, generally give your birds on a show day? I know you don’t want them to eat too much the morning of a show because it can disrupt how they look. We’re going to have a 1 ½ - 2 hour drive to the show, and I’ll probably be up at least 2 hours before we have to leave. We are going to aim to be at the show grounds by 8 at the latest since the show starts at 9. So, would you suggest I simply make sure the showing birds eat well the night before, and then not give them any food until after I’ve seen them be judged? Or should I give them a little food in the morning when I wake up, enough to hold them over ‘til later but not too much? I check my birds 2x a day(at least) to make sure they have enough food, and when I feed the Silkies in the morning they’re never “starving”. #3 About how much time should I, as a newbie, allot for getting each bird tested and cooped in? I’m thinking about 15 minutes, but I would like the opinions of others. Obviously I would not want to rush with cooping them in, if I could help it. Is it okay to take the birds out of the cage if we have to (to clean off fresh manure or w/e) after cooping in, but before the cut-off time for cooping in? Or if they poo once I place them in the cage should I just leave it? #4 I want to join the ABA and APA (possibly ASBC also) for several reasons but mainly because my overall goal is to breed quality, to-the-standard Silkies. Would you suggest I join the ABA/APA now, before my first show, in case I happen to win anything?(I hope to exhibit at a few more shows this fall as well, and I know the chances of winning the first time are not that great) Even though I may not have good breeding pens for another 6-12 months? Here are the birds I am planning/thinking on showing this time. I know my white cockerel is not in his best shape (he’s been molting) but I’m thinking about bringing him so that at least I have the extra experience of cooping in multiple birds(If this is wrong, please let me know!) All three of these babies are from Bobbi Porto. #1 "Mr. White", white cockerel. Mr. White's tail is a little sparse, and he does have a feather mat that I need to get out, but I'm going to do that tomorrow hopefully. It's hard to get a good profile shot of him because my camera is going (zoom is dead) and he just LOVES people, so he's constantly moving and clucking..He will be 11 months on the 14th. #1 Splash cockerel On his fifth toe, above his toenail, there's a little bit of something. I'm not sure if it's another partial toenail coming out, or if it's just a quill, because it does look a little fluffy. It's hard to tell in the picture though. Would an extra toenail be a DQ? I know his toe fluff could be better, but I think he's just broken some feathers. The last picture is how he stands all the time. His wings could be more horizontal, right? He is about six months old and is larger than Mr. White. He's also filled out a LOT in the past 2-3 months. #3 Black pullet I know the pics are shadowy, and I apologize for that. She sits lovely when she isn't craning her neck looking at something, lol. She is about 5-6 months old. She is small, but not overly small for a pullet I don’t think. I’m not sure if I should bring her this time or wait for the spring shows or next year, when she’ll be full grown. I really like her type, that’s why I’m considering bringing her this time. Show prep question: #5 I’ve read that you can use bluing shampoo on white birds to get a “whiter-white”. I’ve also read that if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a blue bird. My question is this, should I just bathe my white Silkie regularly, or should I try using a little bluing shampoo? I’m a newbie at bathing whites. Also, what exactly does glycerin do for the bird? I’m planning on using an oatmeal shampoo for dogs on my birds. I’ve used it on other Silkies before and it seemed to work great. If anyone else is going to this show, I would love to meet up with you and say hi! Thanks for any and all input .