This past August we attended our local community fair. Our grandson & granddaughter are now showing chickens where their mother showed chickens and rabbits when she was their age. Here is Bugs with one of his bantam d'Uccles, waiting for his turn in the Fitting & Showing competition.
In this competition the competitors are required to wear white long sleeved shirts and dark pants or skirts. The chickens , ducks, turkeys, or any other poultry being shown must be perfectly groomed.The judges award points in this competition based on the condition of the bird, the knowledge of the handler, how the competitor handles the bird and him / herself . Some fitting and showing competitions also require the competitors to take a nomenclature test which is a chart of a chicken with about 50 blank lines with arrows pointing to various parts of a chicken's anatomy. Yup, a "fill in the blank" test !
Bugs answers the judge's questions.
I think he did O.K.
Both Bugs and his sister did O.K. Congratulations to my two bird-brains !
My grandson Bugs & I attended a poultry show this past weekend. I saw it advertised in this months issue of Backyard Poultry and we decided to check out the chickens on display.
This little rooster won big !
These Sebastopol geese are beautiful, and I wish I had written down the name of the owner of this pair. ( Not that I'll be buying any more geese Jim. )
Here are the very breed of chickens my grandson has been wanting for quite awhile. Salmon Faverolles. Bugs wants bantams though and we finally found a breeder of bantam Salmon Faverolles right here at the poultry show ! Above is a hen and below is of course, in all his glory, the rooster.
Bugs raises this breed, and loves them.
An African Buff goose. This goose was huge. There were quite a few geese at the show,
and turkeys too. This is a magnificent Narragansett Turkey.
"What are you looking at ? "
We had to wait awhile to view the chickens I especially wanted to see, the Silkies. This is a judge very carefully checking out each fluffy bundle and the young man on the right was writing down her comments.
Just look at this cute Silkie !
I must admit, I came home with 3 half-grown Silkie chicks, but I'll show them in another post.
Now here are some serious curls. I have never seen any birds with such tightly curled feathers. Click on the picture to enlarge and really look at the feathers these pigeons are sporting.
The weather this past Saturday was terrible and to get to the show was a 2 hour round-trip drive. I almost canceled because of this, but Bugs wanted to go. I am glad we did. The Washington Feather Fanciers Winter Brisk ~ 2013 was well worth it and Bugs is thinking about entering some of his own chickens next year !
At the last week of August I took my d'uccles to our old community fair for fitting and showing, above is Colonel Blue my cockerel that I hatched this January who got grand champion bantam, above is Colonel Blue with his ribbon although he doesn't have much color he will gain more with age, one of his biggest downfalls are his feather quality which I'm going to improve by breeding my porcelains to my mille Fleur's .
Above is Snowflake who I used for fitting and showing this year, I got grand champion for the Intermediate class using her, the difference between fitting and showing and open class is that in open class you bring your birds drop them of for a few days while they are judged and you can be any age pretty much as where fitting and showing is for I belief ages 18 and under there are 4 groups ,Pee wee , Junior , intermediate and Senior the goal is to make sure your bird is clean demonstrate how to hold, check for parasites and put your bird in and out of cages and also answer questions about the breed and other kinds of poultry.
This is a picture of the ribbons my birds won , I entered some other birds besides the ones above, all my milles Colonel Blues Brother and some Porcelain hens.
On the 13th of this month I brought my bantam d'uccles to the open class poultry show at the fair , and after conditioning, washing, and dusting , my birds had good results. I am very pleased with how they did. Above is Crimson, my Mille Fleur at the fair who placed Reserve Feather- Legged which is second best out of all the other feather- legged breeds there, and he also got Best of Breed.
These are my two Mille hens, Feisty and Fluffy ,who were in the trio with Crimson, the rooster shown above. There are two things I think are important to showing. 1: Good practice at culling, because eliminating birds that don't measure up can help produce better birds, and 2 : Having the right setup for your breed can help keep birds healthy and in good condition, making washing birds for shows easier and reduces the risk of them getting sick.
This is China one of my chicks from this January who got Reserve of the Porcelain color and out -did her mom who got this award last year.
This is Iceberg who placed Best of Variety , as you can see she was moulting her beard which the judge commented on as missing beard feathers, but overall great bird. She actually has the biggest beard of all my Porcelains.
These are my two roosters from this January. I did not get a photo of them at the fair but had one of them in my shed. The rooster on the left got 1st and the rooster on the right got 2nd, I also got a few 1sts ,2nds, and a 3rd from the other birds I entered , although I was competing against myself for the breed. All my birds got good comments compared to the comments of other breeds( like dirty bird , scaly leg, and wrong comb), I did however get Reserve Feather- Legged. I am glad my birds were able to get good placings.
In this post I will be writing about how my Black Mottled breeding project is going , as I wrote in my post Black Mottleds a challenging color, breeding mottleds has been a challenge , mainly focusing on getting good pattern, above is Domino my Black Mottled pullet.
Above are my two black roosters.
This is my black rooster that I will be culling because of the red lacing, the reason red lacing popped up is because I bred his mom with a Porcelain and since Porcelains came from Mille Fleur's and are basically Mille Fleur's with the delude gene red leakage commonly happens if you cross these two colors together.
This is my hen Milkshake who I used for this project because she has good type for the color, on occasion you will get a blue Mottled which is blue with black lacing and white spots, out of my 3 black chicks only the one above has red leakage the other two are a good quality pair.
This is my rooster Platinum who is the Father of the chicks above I crossed him with the black hen to experiment because I heard that if you breed these two colors together you get a blue mottled with red leakage, the part about red leakage is right but didn't happen to all of my chicks just 1 , as for getting blue mottleds out of these colors I'm not sure.
This is Oreo who I was using for breeding but since he has disqualifications and defects which are squirrel tail and to many complete white feathers he would pass them on as seen in the chick below, theres nothing wrong with them except you can't show them, one way I can tell if their good quality or not is the chicks like the one below grow up to look like Oreo and solid black chicks with a little white are worth keeping , some of you might also be wondering if its cross breeding and that I'm going off my breed the answer is no I'm crossing two colors of the breed not two breeds and as long as the bird meets the color and breed requirements it can be showed.
Ella & Fella, my Sebastopol geese are 4 months old now. I haven't yet introduced them to the big pond, choosing to keep them and my 2 young ducklings, also 4 months old, in the back poultry yard.
I pen the geese with the ducklings every night to protect them from predators. In the morning I release them and oh what fluttering feathery, splashy joy ! The ducks come out quacking and the geese honking ...
...reminding me of frilly ballerinas. After their splashing around and swimming sessions the geese eat grass and sun them selves alongside the ducks. Below are 2 short videos showing the typical morning routine for them. I am loving these geese ! They still follow me around when I am outside with them and if I sit down they come lay down beside my feet.