What do judges look for when judging chickens?


10 Years
Sep 29, 2009
I was wondering if anyone knew what the judges look for when they judge chickens? I know they look for clarity in the eyes, weight, and no missing feathers, but I know there's more to it. Could someone please tell me?

What judges look for when judging chicken eggs will be helpful too. Although if you don't know both just tell me what you can.
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I'm sure you will get more specifics from someone involved in judging, but here are a few things judges lok for:
They look for how the bird compares to the photo in the Standard of Perfection. This is the bible of all breeds and gives a description and lists defects and disqualifications. If you are breeding and showing birds it will be very helpful to you to refer to this book. The judge will also look at the condition of the bird, alertness, cleanliness etc.
Good luck,
It's not just the pic in the book that the judge goes by, its the written description of the standard for the specified breed and variety. They'll be checking the birds for DQs and defects, their size and weight, their type, condition, and cleanliness. The color and pattern are also to be observed. The birds temperament can often mean the difference in placings. Some birds aren't comfortable being handled and just don't show well.

I'd suggest picking up a copy of the APA Standard of Perfection. You can get a b&w copy on their site for $14 shipped. http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/APA_ShoppingMall3.htm
I'm really trying to be as delicate about this as possible.

One fair is not how you tell if your birds are show quality. Reading the breed standard and judging YOUR birds against the standard and looking for faults or defects that go away from the standard are how you can tell if the birds are show quality.

Any bird can be shown, only good ones will go on to be used in a stringent breeding program bred towards the breed standard.
This question was asked even before I entered my birds in the fair. I wasn't asking if my chickens were show quality. I was just asking how judges judge then because I never knew how they did it. When they judge the chickens at our fair the building is closed so people cannot go inside and watch.

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