Timing of fall poultry shows VS. autumn molt?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by exop, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. exop

    exop Songster

    Jan 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I went down to see the Crossroads APA nationals in Indianapolis the weekend before last - Oct 28-30. I'd been looking forward to checking out everybody's birds, especially one breed I raise myself. To my great disappointment, there was only one specimen in the entire show, a cockerel young enough that his facial skin hadn't turned red yet. When I got home, my thoughts turned to how I could have or perhaps should have entered birds myself ... then I remembered to notice that all my adults of 1 year old or greater were in the midst of molting. As I write this the roosters are almost all in new feathers, and the hens are playing catchup but making progress.

    Basically what this means for me is that mature birds from my flock are only going to show well at events held in late November through January!

    What books always seem to say is that a late, quick molt is the best kind, from the point of view of productivity and preparedness for winter. ...If you have a choice between breeding from a bird who molts in August, or one who molts in September-October, all other things being equal you should pick the one who molts later. Seems like a natural tension would arise, between wanting to breed birds which will show well - which will be "ready" for fall shows - and between wanting birds which lay well all summer, molt late like they should, and maybe make some kind of attempt to lay during the winter.

    Has anyone else noticed their birds' natural molt is out of sync with the APA - how are you handling the conflict? Is there any way (short of stressing them) to induce or encourage adult chickens to start molting earlier for a special occasion?

    Do you guys think that show stock may have been hurt over the years, productivity wise, by breeding "to schedule" as well as "to standard"?

    Are there certain shows which are known to be "better" for certain breeds, because of the molt issue?

    I am thinking now that the lone cockerel at Crossroads may have just been an indicator that no-one's adults were show worthy at that point on the calendar. Perhaps for some breeds, cockerels and pullets started in the early spring really are the best and only bet for exhibiting Sept - Nov.

    Hmm ... what do y 'all think?
    Best - exop

  2. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Songster

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    Quote:I don't know what breed you raise but we time our hatches for each show.. I know each of my birds quite well and at what age they molt into thier adult feathers. For teh Adult birds they are placed in conditioning pens on lights with a timer and force molted to be ready for the first real show of teh season if they are intended to show instead of breed through the fall and winter.
    Its all about space and timing.
  3. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    The key is to hatch to time with the shows. I mainly show cockerels and pullets and I like 7 - 10 months old for feather quality. Another thing is that on your cocks and hens, you can force a molt by feeding them whole oats exclusively. You can make them molt in time for the show.

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