Why do you want to keep showing if you never win?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gallusfarm, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    People unfamiliar with exhibition poultry can be pretty cruel, I’ve 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 don’t think it’s “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? I’d love to hear what you think, and things you’ve 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.

    I’ve only shown Dominiques in the whopping two APA shows that I’ve 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 don’t 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 don’t 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.
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If it's making you happy to show your birds that's all the reason you need.

    All the reason anyone needs unless they're trying to make it a business.
  3. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    A.T. Hagan :

    If it's making you happy to show your birds that's all the reason you need.

    All the reason anyone needs unless they're trying to make it a business.

  4. kelliepulido

    kelliepulido Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    st.john's mi
    Well I will tell you how my experience has gone with the dogs.I can only compare to them cuz I too am new to chickens and have not shown.But with the dogs most people I ran into were mean jealous and are not too keen on sharing any secrets.But I kept on participating and learning and my feeelings were hurt for many years.But I learned alot.I asked questions went to many different events trained with many different trainers,read tons of books,watched tons of videos,dvds,vhs,went to seminars,got my husband involved competed in different venues.And 9yrs later I have a bookcase full of trophies and 5 lovely dogs.I made alot of mistakes but learned the hard way.Most of the negative comments actually made me continue on harder to show people up.And it has payed off.I love my dogs as well as my chickens.And I will succeed in both areas it will just take time.Ignore those who say negative things try to move forward and work on things,the fun is the journey not the destination[​IMG]
  5. NC Giants

    NC Giants Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2010
    I have asked my self that same question many times. If your purpose of showing is only winning then you may want to try something else. I have had some form of fowl for 30 years,but just started showing and breeding to the standard for @ 4 years ago. My wife and i each picked a breed (her black jersey giants and I delawares) After the first year i sold all my mixed bantams and the delawares due to coop space. Figured if we were going into this blind mightas well not be overloaded at the same time. No feathers on thier feet and a dark color would be best while still trying to learn the basic (not to basic at the time) ropes of showing poultry. Our !1st birds were eggs bought off ebay. Bought from 3 or 4 different folks, raised them up and culled with out a standard book. First mistake. Took a couple of shows to figure out where our birds needed obvious improment. Simple things that were DQ's (disqualifications ). If you are going to show you need a SOP ( standard of perfection saw sop on here and diddnt kno what that stood for).Read it. Read your breed and look at the pictures on a regular basis. Occassionally i read another breeds info so i wont have quite so much tunnel vision. While at the shows we learned alot about our breed but also about what other folks do to and for thiers. we have met other breeders with the same breed as us and have been able to share our info and opinions about each others birds. I have found this to be the most benifical benifit of attending a show. The shows are meeting places for people who have the same interests. At the show we are in like company. When we go back home/work we are the "CRAZY CHICKEN PEOPLE" My wife stopped her work Christmas party in its tracks a couple of years ago by mentioning that we had chickens and that we had recently been to a show. A good trip to a show helps energize you about your chickens and helps you steer yourself with your birds in a general direction that you and the roulette wheel of genetics control.
  6. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Ask those people why they support their children's high school athletic endeavours, if the kid doesn't always win?
  7. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Quote:Oh, this is so true! NC Giants I was at the show this weekend and saw your lovely birds. Great job!

    It's funny that you said the thing about the party, because a lot of times before I go out with my husband I have to ask if talking about the chickens is appropratie conversation or not.

    Another cool thing about showing is that is is a lost art. There aren't a lot of people who do it and there are so many old books about exhibition poultry from back in the late 1800s/early 1900s, where it was a huge thing to do, since agriculture was so significant. It's like keeping a tradition going.

    kelliepulido - awesome advice and success with the dogs - he is sooo cute!

    catwalk yes - we don't have kids so the chickens kind of fill that void.

    Thanks all!!
  8. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    May 2, 2010
    I'd just tell them: "Because I enjoy it, it makes me happy. And we all know, if Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!" [​IMG]
  9. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    My fiance asked me the same thing a few years ago. I said "It's not about winning, it's about getting the birds out there to let others see what you have and if they can use it in their own programs or if you can use some of their lines in yours. It's to preserve history. You might win, you might not but if you can preserve something and make sure it continues on while you're on this earth you've done exactly what you set out to do."

    Showing makes me happy, it gives me an adrenaline rush. Knowing that you put work and effort into those birds to make them look the best they can (even if they ARE missing half of their tails...) is a pride that nobody can take away.
  10. chicken-owner-31

    chicken-owner-31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Like Kellie, I don't have experience showing chickens, but I do with horses. And I do not win with my boy either.

    I have a BLM Mustang. Not even a real breed, by most standards. He's not "registered" and was only trained by me.

    We've showed in many, many shows. He can be ridden by anyone, does both English and Western events, and we have dabbled at speed events and jumping. The best he ever won was reserve in a "laughable registry" show. I was ecstatic about that!!

    I've had people tell me to dye his freezebrand and tell people he's a Quarter Horse. [​IMG] I've had people tell me to put all kinds of training devices on him to "get a better headset" or "make him go faster." I've heard the line of sell him and get something I can show with. (!!!) NOT for sale!

    I LOVE my horse. I LOVE the fact that he's a Mustang. I LOVE the fact that he may not excell at western pleasure, but can go from that ring right into a jumping class. I LOVE the fact that I can take a quiet trail ride on him and then go into a speed class. I LOVE my horse. He is a jack of all trades, master of none. But I think our purpose together is to enjoy life and advocate for all Mustangs.

    You just keep on keeping on. ENJOY your birds! And for those who say "it's just a chicken?" Well, they JUST DON'T understand. ((((HUGS))))

    Here's my boy! [​IMG]


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