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Raising Chickens - Showing Poultry
Information on 'fitting for show' can be found in many of the books and pamphlets available from the American Poultry Association or by simply asking someone who shows. Attend one or two shows and talk to people and judges. State Fairs usually have shows and attending one of these is a great way to get started. To prepare a bird for show, the bird needs to be healthy, free of broken feathers, clean and presentable, and pen trained. They need to be comfortable being handled. Poultry is judged by the Standard of Perfection which is published as the official guide both for the established breeder and the beginner and contains all the poultry recognized by the APA. In this publication you will find the characteristics that describe how your birds should look. You will need to know how to groom your bird prior to showing by cleaning or bathing and using baby or olive oil to enhance the birds legs, combs and wattles, and their brightness. Get all the paperwork required well in advance and have it filled out and submitted out prior to the show. Just don't show up.
There are both open shows and junior shows and if you decide to get children involved, joining the 4-H or the FFA is a great way to start them off and teach responsibility. Both have websites where you can get more information. You can also call your county co-operative extension service, which is affiliated with a local university. They will offer leader's guides, poultry learning activities, guides to prepare for judging, how to maintain records and so much more.
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