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From our August 2016 Newsletter
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From our June 2016 Newsletter
Basic Show Preparation
When taking a bird to a show, it should be clean and looking it’s best – this is both to give the bird the best chance to be placed and to show respect for the judge who has to take the bird out of its cage and handle it.
Coloured birds are not often given a full bath – head and feet are all that need attention.
Preparing the head: The only feathers that may be shortened or cut off are the tiny feathers that grow alongside the comb. It is best to get a second person to secure the fowl while using sharp nail scissors.
Next step is to put a bit of oil onto the comb, face and wattles to make the red look more intense. Any cooking oil can be used but many experienced exhibitors have their own special formulation. Linseed oil is particularly kind to the skin but extra virgin olive oil is another good option. The photo below demonstrates how much difference the oil can make, even to an older hen with a pale comb who has not yet re-started to lay.
We use our fingers to apply the cooking oil but the professional way is to use a small paintbrush. Be careful to not let any oil get into the fowl’s eye. This preparation is best done the day before the show to make sure the oil is still fresh. Some exhibitors put a second coat on at time of penning. There is nothing that can be done to mask the white in her beak – any such attempt would be considered fraud.
Even an older hen’s head looks a lot smarter with her comb clearly visible and her comb, face and wattles bright red.
Vent: It is prudent to check your bird’s vent area for lice at least a week before the show. If you see any rice grain sized lice move around (or egg sacks on the feathers below the vent) give the bird a good dusting with flea or lice powder. Closer to the show, usually 2 or 3 days prior, give the bird a shallow warm bath to loosen any dirt and/or egg sacks, rinse well, dry with an old towel and give a short blow-dry.
Feet and legs: Most birds need a foot bath. This can be done in a bucket with warm water outside or in the laundry tub or similar. Add a drop of dish wash detergent and soak the legs and feet for a few minutes. Any dirt balls that have formed on the toe nails will now be easy to remove. Long toe nails can carefully be shortened with nail clippers. An old toothbrush works well for removing dirt from between the toes and under the scales. Dry the feet with a towel, leave the bird for a day to preen itself and, when putting oil onto the face, use some to make the legs and feet look more shiny, too.
Most white birds are given a full bath in handwarm water with a professional grooming shampoo. This needs to be rinsed out thoroughly before the bird is blow dried and kept in a warm, dry and draft free pen until show time. A bird who has been bathed and shampooed needs 2 or 3 days to completely dry out and preen itself. Often the white is enhanced by adding a drop of blue food colouring to the bath water but don’t overdo it – judges know that light blue is not a standard colour!
From our May 2016 Newsletter
A Quick Guide to Becoming a Poultry Exhibitor
Most people hesitate to show their birds because they are either unsure whether their birds meet the standard or they know that their bird has a fault and think it can’t be shown because of this.
First of all: the perfect bird still needs to be bred. Some come close but most show lots of opportunities for improvements. So unless your bird has a major fault like side sprigs or is a female (except OEGs) and has spurs – why not give it a go? The worst case scenario is that the bird is passed. This means that the judge made the decision that the bird either has a serious fault or does not resemble the breed standard closely enough to be awarded a prize. If this is the case there should be a note on the back of the cage number slip mentioning what was wrong with the bird.
Showing a bird is the perfect opportunity to find out how it compares with other birds of the same breed. Consulting the New Zealand Poultry Standard can be helpful before making a decision to show.
Where to Start? The first step should be to order a schedule. This can be done by emailing the secretary
and asking for a schedule. The secretary needs to know your postal address.
With the schedule you will also get an entry form. You can either fill this in and post it to PO Box 8436, Riccarton, Christchurch 8440 or you can send an email with your entries to email@example.com and pay the entry fees by internet banking.
How to Enter: Let’s say you’d like to enter a Blue Pekin pullet and a young male plain Blue NZ Show Homer.
The class for your Blue Pekin Pullet is 378 (there is a table in the schedule with all breeds we have classes for) and the class for your young male Plain Blue NZ Show Homer is 507. Let’s assume the pigeon will be for sale.
In your email you need to write:
Your Name and postal address so we can send you the prize money.
Class Breed For Sale Price
378 Blue Pekin No
507 Plain Blue NZ Show Homer Yes $20
Please let us know whether you’d like to pre-order a catalogue. Becoming a member of our club entitles you to lower entry fees so you might like to consider this. The annual membership fee is $10. Entry fees and catalogue prize will be published in our schedule. Once you have calculated how much your entries will cost, please internet bank the money to the club’s account at BNZ with your name in the reference field: account number 02 0800 0182295- 00 at Bank of New Zealand Cashel and Fitzgerald Branch.