Entering chickens in county fair

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My oldest daughter will be old enough to compete in 4H this next school year. What I would like to know is can you enter cross bred chickens in county fairs? We bought some "production red" chicks this spring and don't know if they are eligible to show. We live in the state of Oklahoma, and I would like to get some more chicks if these are not allowed.

-- Russell Hays (rhays@sstelco.com), May 27, 2001


My suggestion would be to first get hold of a county fair premium handbook. This will tell you exactly what you can enter. In our fair, we have a class for Hybrid layers, which would include the Production Red. We also have a class for "Other", which can include barnyard crosses. However, some other fairs follow the American Poultry Assoc.'s Standard of Perfection to the letter concerning breeds. For 4-H classes, there is usually a little more leniency in the classes. Best to check with your 4-H agent. If your daughter is not entering poultry in classes until she is a member of 4-H you have ample time to prepare. Your 4-H agent can direct you to a club that may specialize in poultry or at least a 4-H leader that is familiar with all the ins and outs of showing poultry. Ask a lot of questions of the agent and lea

-- David A. Macfarlane (scott@micronet.net), May 27, 2001.

Have never heard of entering but "purebreed" poultry. Poultry shows are judged by comparing breed entries against each other to a "standard". Contact your Fair people; If they have a class for "Production Varieties" your OK. Or ask the fiar people who maintains the poultry exhibits they can surely give you an answer. There is nothing wrong with production type poultry or the backyard flock. There just has to be a standard to judge for. In some fairs they also have a "class" for the kids to compete in to gain experience. The winners are for example; "Biggest Rooster". And it is not to late to get some started purebreed birds and enter them in the fall as pullets or cockerels.

-- j standridge (creekside@creeksidepoultry.com), May 27, 2001.

I don't know if it is cause of our small size or what but we don't have papers or special class or any thing we have a meat bird section and quail and turkey batum and chicken section in each of those there are a female class a male class and a trio class (1 male 2 females) and after that they have a grand champ class were all the girl winners come up and they have a best girl and a best bay and a best trio. just a little tip i've learned. judges don't know any thing about guineas but that they are pretty always look nice so you have a VERY VERY good chance of getting first and best of show and champion. agian i don't know if this is cause of the small area or a secreat for every were. but it works here in southern IL At the fair though always look like you are having fun and try not to be cocky but know what youu are talking about. if a judge asks you a question never say i don't know or shrug your shoulders ALWAYS guess or give a answer no matter how goofy sounding. Well if i say much more all of my secrets will be out. Good luck and mainly have fun! I've been showing poultry for 5 years.

-- lindsey (l_shamhart@hotmail.com), May 27, 2001.

My daughter shows her chickens at our county fair. Our fair has a division for "utility" or "commercial" hens. It is a special class they put in so all the kids could show their birds. Most kids around here get their chicks from the feed stores or friends rather than a breeder. And if you don't have your bird judged in a breed class you can't show in showmanship.

I agree with the others who advised getting the premium book and talking with the 4h advisor, then you'll have specific info for your fair.

Also, if your daughter is serious about raising chickens I would advise getting pure breed chicks or hens from a good breeder. It costs the same to feed the good ones and the not so good ones.

Good luck! I'm sure she'll have lots of fun, my 8-year-old does.

-- jennifer (schwabauer@aol.com), May 27, 2001.

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