Teaching the showmanship bird to walk

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Fallen Leaf Farm, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Fallen Leaf Farm

    Fallen Leaf Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2011
    So, the boys are going to show in the 4-H poultry classes. They really only want to show their roosters in the breed classes, but are required to do showmanship. There's no way those roosters are going to do showmanship! So now we have to enlist (and show) two of the pullets. The choices are (currently) 8 week Australorps or 18 week Buff Orpingtons, or 18 week old Black Stars. I've been told the Black Stars will be marked down in the breed classes because they aren't pure bred. Of course, they are the calmest! One boy has his heart set on the Australorp chick, but they are so wild!
    Any tips on teaching the girls to walk the runway? I've never even seen a chicken show, so I have no idea what it's supposed to look like.[​IMG] We've got 4 weeks to train these free ranging, wild women!
    Wish they would just let the boys show the roosters and enjoy themselves instead of making it a big, stressful production![​IMG]
  2. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    May 2, 2010
    Wow! I don't show, have never been to a poultry show, but had no idea you had to walk them in Showmanship! Is that just a 4-H thing?? Is it in a walled in type area? I would think having the birds favorite treat handy would be a major plus. Try mealworms, mine would kill for mealworms! I'll have to watch this thread now, you have peaked my curiouity! Good luck to your boys!
  3. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:If that's what'll make them happy, then I'd do it. Showmanship is an acquired taste (I honestly think it's wrong that it is required-I think this should be a decision of the exhibitor). Showmanship does take alot of work. That being said, the most difficult aspect is getting the bird to move or not move when you want them to. Don't get stressed.

    Don't automatically assume that the roosters cannot stay still. [​IMG] I'd choose my male over the females any day. The girls have their moods and will never make up their minds when they want to cooperate or not. When my male is well trained, he's awesome. The best way that I've found to practice over the years is to take the bird, alone, to a remote, calm, quiet location (I use my unfinished basement). Practice getting the bird to stay still. You can keep your hands on the bird until they aren't moving or trying to get away. Try for a moment, then for a few seconds. That's the hardest part. After that, walk a few feet away and try to get their attention with a small treat. Then try again. On show days, treats cannot be used, but it does help with training.

    Posing and walking are my least favorite parts, so I try to focus on my strengths first, and try my hardest later. Don't forget that a portion of showmanship is based on attitude. If they're having fun, they'll be okay.

    I used to know a youtube video showing how to walk a chicken but I can't find it. More often than not, the judge asks you to pose the bird, not walk them. But it's good to be prepared for both.

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