People unfamiliar with exhibition poultry can be pretty cruel, Ive found. They laugh and snicker when I speak of my show chickens and how I bathe them and spend countless hours prepping for shows. Then the clincher came when DH said to me: if you never win anything better than Best or Reserve of Breed, why do you want to keep showing? I just dont think its value added for you to be driving to other states to show these birds. That is one of my least favorite business slogans these days. Value added. What would you say in response to this? Id love to hear what you think, and things youve heard over the years. My response was this: Well, for one thing, in my never-bred-chickens-before program, it helps you become intimate with your birds. It makes you pay more attention to their appearance, and go over them and notice things you may not have thought about. Bathing and preparing them really helps you see everything. And sometimes once they are in the show pen, they may look different than you originally thought. It helps. It also helps when in your mind you think your bird A is better overall than bird B and you get to a show and the judge thinks differently. It helps to compare them with other birds at the shows. It helps in selection of breeders. Showing also helps in showcasing/exhibiting the breed. I know that if you've never seen a particular breed in real life, then a show is a good place to find them. For example, how rewarding is it when someone walks up to you and says: I think I've found my breed of choice. And also when other breeders say you have a good looking bird, or "nice type on that one"! These comments can be as rewarding as being on Champion Row. Ive only shown Dominiques in the whopping two APA shows that Ive entered. An old timer said, it a very kind way, mind you, the best you'll ever get with those is Champ or Reserve American. For one thing, barred or multi-colored birds rarely do well. Why dont you pick a breed that you can win with? DH asked me the same question. I try to discuss the importance of preserving heritage breeds, but often non-chicken folks dont understand. They are just chickens. This phrase is the only thing I know to not be value-added in the entire discussion!!! My feelings are hurt. Hurt more so than not winning anything which is what DH was worried about to being with.