We are excited you have taken an interest in exhibition poultry. On this page we are going to list the tips and tricks we wished ,that we would have known when we took an interest in this hobby.
Showing chickens is a wonderful hobby. The main purpose of showing chickens is to get a licensed judges opinion on your bird or another exhibitors. You may ask why getting an opinion on a chicken is necessary. I mean after all it's just a chicken right?
The biggest reason we have chicken shows is to help preserve and promote the interest of exhibiting and conserving poultry breeds. Most poultry breeds you see at the shows now were once the breeds that produced the eggs, meat ,and other poultry products that we needed. Some people will argue that there is no reason to preserve the breeds we have now ,because we have production breeds for meat and eggs. What most people don't realize is that those production birds that produce all of our meat we find in the grocery store ,actually can't breed or reproduce by themselves.
Our standard of perfection set forth by the American Poultry Association actually has guidelines in place ,so we can keep breeding this birds both to be productive and ornamental.
The standard of perfection is a book with guidelines set forth by the American Poultry Association. It serves as a tool for both judges and exhibitors to use when it comes to breeding and evaluating poultry. Each breed and variety of poultry has it's own standard. You may ask what are the basic guidelines it outlines for chickens and waterfowl?
Each breed and variety as stated above will have it's own guidelines. Typically the guidelines for a breed or variety of poultry consist of weight, general type, color pattern and overall what each part of the chicken is supposed to look like. There are 3 categories for poultry in the standard of perfection. The three main categories consist of Large Fowl, Bantam and Waterfowl.
The Large Fowl category consist of any standard size poultry. It contains multiple classes within that category. Most of the time the class represents where the breed of chicken originates from. For example: Large Fowl Brahmas and Large Fowl Cochins are listed under the Asiatic class. All the birds from the Asiatic class have breed origins that originate from Asia.
The Bantam category consist of any small or bantam chickens. It contains multiple classes within that category also. The bantam standard tend to focus more on the ornamental qualities of a bird when classifying it ,rather than by breed origin. For example: Silkies and Cochins Bantams are listed under the feather legged class. All the birds from the feather legged class will have feathered feet or legs.
The Water Fowl category consist of Bantam Ducks, Large Fowl Ducks and Geese. It's classes are typically classified by weight. For example: Rouen and Aylesburry ducks are classified under the heavy class. All the birds in the heavy weight duck class will be very large breeds typically used for meat production.
Showing chickens doesn't take a whole lot of effort. You want to show a healthy bird free of disqualifications. The biggest thing is showing a healthy well conditioned bird ,it's OK if your going to your first show with a bird that has DQ's. Showing chickens is a fun and wonderful learning experience ,with lots of eager people wanting to help.
The number one thing when it comes to showing ,or conditioning birds for show is feed quality. You want to feed the best and freshest feed available local to you. One other big thing is feeding and providing fresh water to you poultry on a regular basis.
Some people bathe there chickens before a show. We recommend if you bathe your chicken for a show do it 4-6 days before the show ,so there feathers have time to regain there natural oils. Bathing a chicken is fairly easy and there are many YouTube videos to help demonstrate this.
If you are local to the Ada, Oklahoma area I highly recommend Big V as a feed brand.
"BoB" is a term used quite often in the show community. When a bird wins Best of Breed that means it was the best representation of the standard out of all birds against it in it's breed. This bird will then go up for Best in Class and compete against other BOB winners.
Class Champion is a prestigious title that is won by a bird that is an excellent representation of there standard. For a bird to win class champion it must compete against all the other breeds in its class and win.
"BoV" is another terms that is used quite often. "BoV" stands for Best of Variety. For a bird to win Best of Variety it competes against all other hens ,pullets ,cocks and cockerels in it's variety. Once a bird has been deemed Best of Variety it shows it was the best representation of it variety.
The term "DQ" simply means disqualification. If you find "DQ" on your coop card that means a judge has deemed that your bird has one or more disqualifications.
A hen is a female chicken over one year old.
A pullet is a female chicken that is under one year old.
A cock is a male chicken that is over one year old.
A cockerel is a male chicken that is under one year old.