What to look for in a show chicken?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by chickenslave2, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a wyandotte bantam that I think might do good in shows but I don't know how to tell if she's show quality. Could somebody give me tips on what to look for in a show quality chicken?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    What kind of show? A local fair often is very easy to enter just about anything.

    An APA or ABA sanctioned show would be very difficult to enter any bird, expecting to do well, unless the bird was from a line of birds that had been bred expressly for exhibition and bred to the breed's standard.

    Thus, the first question is where the bird came from? Knowing it's breeding history and the knowledge, reputation and skill of the breeder would be good to know. Every breed and variety has a detailed written description called it's Standard against which the bird will be judged.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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  3. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    From my experience, its all about the angle where the head meets the very fluffy tail. Here is a picture of a knock out cochin bantams (ones with high winning potential):
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Most hatchery birds have too long of a back or the wrong colored legs, which should be bright yellow btw.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Can you post a good profile pic of her?
     
  5. Sydney Acres

    Sydney Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Every breed has a detailed description of what that breed is supposed to look like. That description is called the Standard. People refer to the SOP, or the APA SOP. APA is the American Poultry Association, and SOP is the Standard of Perfection. So the SOP describes the features that every breed should have, and the APA publishes that book. You can buy that book by going to the APA website. You may be able to find the section that refers to Wyandotte bantams on a Wyandotte club website, or if you get involved with a Wyandotte club you might be able to borrow a copy of the SOP from someone. You could also check with libraries or a 4-H/FFA leader, who might let you photocopy the section that you need. But if you plan on doing any breeding, you really need to buy your own copy, as there's a lot more in the book than just the breed sections.

    But in general, a good show chicken must first have the right frame -- essentially the right body shape. That's the foundation of a good quality bird. If that's not right then none of the other details matter. If frame is right, then size is next, especially important in bantams. Only then are all the obvious things considered -- feet and head details, color details, plumage quality, etc. So basically, the things that are obvious are important, but less important than the things that are subtle to the beginner.

    I know, very confusing when you first start out.

    If all these things are totally confusing on paper, there's a few ways to more forward. You can enter your bird in a local show, and talk to the judge about your bird's good and bad points after the judging is finished. Some judges aren't very helpful, but many will spend some time with you if you're polite and show a genuine interest in learning. Prepare ahead of time as to what questions to ask, take notes when s/he talks to you, and don't get upset about what is said, even if it's not very complimentary towards your bird. Remember, even the best quality birds aren't perfect, and you only learn if someone is honest with you about the good points, and the bad points, of your bird. Alternatively, you can go to one of the big APA shows, where there will be excellent quality birds exhibited. Hang around the bantam Wyandotte section, and talk to the breeders. Some won't have time to talk to a newbie, but some will. When you find someone willing to talk to you, ask them to point out the features of their birds that make them good show birds. Take notes and pictures. Be respectful and grateful that a high quality breeder is willing to help you. If you're really serious about the hobby, you may even find a mentor. Mentors are invaluable.
     
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  6. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: Do the legs have to be yellow?
     
  7. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: After what I've heard, she doesn't sound like a show chicken but I would like to enter her in a local show anyway for fun.

    I will put some photo's up tomorrow - it's a bit dark at the moment.
     
  8. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    A photo of my wyandotte hen.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Honey I hate to break this to you, but she's not a Wyandotte. Wyandottes have rose combs, yellow legs, and don't come in that color. Their body shape and tail set is also a lot different, as you can see from the reference pics posted. I think you have a cute little mixed breed hen.
     
  10. chickenslave2

    chickenslave2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: I was told she was a wyandotte hen though, lol.

    The question is, what breed/s is she then?
     

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