Last week we talked about how to prepare your ducks for a poultry show. This week we’re going to tell you what happens at a poultry show and what you can expect when you’re there.
There are many different types of show that are all regulated and structured by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. You can find out more information about the types of show on the Poultry Club of Great Britain website.
Transporting your birds
The Poultry Club of Great Britain gives the following information in their welfare guidelines for transporting your birds:
“Ideally one for each bird and sufficiently large for the bird to stand up and turn around: put newspaper then a layer of shavings in the base.
Use stout boxes, make ventilation holes by making two parallel cuts about 1” (2.5cm) apart across at least two corners and push the centre section inwards. “Weave” the top so that it is secure and tie with strong like a parcel.
Ideally use only once and do not lend.”
“Make ventilated wooden boxes to suit size of bird but varnish them so they can be disinfected.”
Follow the guidelines for cardboard boxes for size and litter. Again, do not lend to others.
“Boxes should be placed on the back seat of a saloon car and not in the boot unless the back seat is folded down.
Estate cars, hatchbacks, saloons and vans should have sufficient ventilation by opening windows or the use of air conditioning.”
“A plastic poultry crate can be used of the appropriate size (e.g. taller for turkeys) for transporting birds in numbers as it is easy to clean and disinfect. It is also airy and food and water containers can be easily attached.
If a trailer is used for transport, make sure there is adequate ventilation for the birds both when travelling and when static.”
Food and water:
“Food and water must be provided for journeys over 8 hours. Therefore always carry poultry food and water in case of breakdown or delay.”
“Fill in and carry with you an animal transport declaration certificate form (available from Poultry Club of Great Britain) for journeys outside your local authority area.”
So, what happens at a poultry show?
As we said at the beginning, poultry shows in the UK are run to the Poultry Club of Great Britain guidelines. The judges will either be experts in their breed or qualified to judge under Poultry Club standards.
You’ll need to arrive at the show in plenty of time to get your bird settled before judging starts. Around 30 minutes should be enough time, but if this is your first show it might be wise to give it a bit longer.
Make sure you take clip on bowls so you can feed and water your bird at the show. However, it’s best to wait until after judging has finished before feeding and watering so there is no risk of them making a mess.
Once judging starts the judge, and usually his steward, will move along the cages observing the birds. Remember, do not interrupt the judge! However, there is sometimes the opportunity to talk to the judge after prizes have been awarded, so you can get some valuable feedback.
The judge will award the top three birds, sometimes four if the class is large, their prize cards once he has made up his mind. If you’re lucky enough to win a prize card, leave it in place on your crate until the end of the show so others can see who has been placed.
As well as being awarded 1st to 3rd place the best birds from each class will then go forward for special awards, such as the coveted “Best in Show”. All of the breed judges from each class will confer to decide which bird should win the prize card.