Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to Attend A Poultry Show

by Melissa Caughey of Tilly's Nest

Have you ever attended a poultry show? Chickens too have their very own shows and they are great fun to attend. They happen all over the country and vary on scale. This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Northeastern Poultry Congress. This is the largest annual show for our area and it features chickens, geese, ducks, and pigeons. You can learn many things from attending the shows and even gain some insight into the professional world of chicken keeping. It is truly a family event as well. Feel free to bring the kids because there are kids like them at the show, showing their own chickens in the junior category.

A chicken ice sculpture from the Boston Poultry Expo adorned with freshly laid eggs.

Of course when attending the show there are a few simple rules. The first is to be respectful of the judges. You can easily spot the judges because most of them wear some sort of jacket adorned with various patches and qualifications. Avoid all interactions with them and avoid entering the areas that are roped off for judging. Be sure to also avoid touching or feeding any of the exhibit birds. Other than that, you are free to roam around at your own will and enjoy the birds, snap photo, jot down notes, and compare the breeds.

It is wonderful to see so many birds in one area. I find that this is one great way to discover new breeds to introduce to flocks. Most of the breeders hang out near their birds and they are always friendly, down to earth and very approachable. They welcome your questions and love to hear that you share common interests.



This is also a great way to network. Most of the breeders that show their birds, will happily provide you with their business card. Many of them will even sell to the public. If you are seeking out show quality birds for your own home flock, this is the place to be! There is also a selling area too. Folks will bring their small livestock to sell at the show. You can purchase assorted chickens, geese, rabbits, ducks, guinea hens and the like. Last year a friend brought home a few baby chicks. She kept them warm in her sweatshirt pocket.

The Northeast Poultry Congress Show main exhibit hall.

Finally, there are always vendors selling their wares and usually a variety of raffle items too. Last year, I won a ceramic chicken in the raffle that proudly perches in my kitchen cabinet.

Here is what I usually take to the show:

Camera

Pen and paper

Wear weather appropriate clothing and shoes-sometimes these places are climate controlled.

Snacks/sack lunch

Money for purchases

Supplies in case you come home with small livestock

Hand Sanitizer

Click here to find a list of local poultry shows happening near you.

For more chicken fun visit me on my blog and on Facebook!

The Community Chickens poultry show at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup,  WA

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