Why should you visit the Poultry Barn at your local fair?
I had the fun and educational experience of visiting my local fair and watching our owner, Tyler Danke, judge poultry. I have to say it was one of my favorite experiences with the company thus far. I was almost overwhelmed with the number of chickens and the number of different breeds that were there! Talk about being in 7th Heaven! If you are thinking of starting a backyard flock or showing your chickens, I would highly suggest you visit your local fair’s Poultry Barn as well!
!The first thing I need to tell you, is ROOSTERS ARE LOUD! I noticed within 1 minute flat how high the noise level of the roosters could really be. I have only been around hens thus far, and I had no idea how often roosters crowed either. I am sure the shock factor came from the sheer number of roosters all in one barn, along with them feeding off one another.
While I was at the fair, I found that I now have a new favorite breed of chicken! The Silver Spangled Hamburgs were the most attractive breed I saw all day. Both the male and female chickens are aesthetically pleasing and seem to have pretty good temperaments. Also, the hens lay over 200 eggs per year, which is something that has always been important to me. I have three kids who love eggs and having a hen who will lay lots of them for us is needed.
One thing I would suggest when going to the Poultry Barn at your local fair is wearing closed toed shoes. Not only do you risk getting bird poop on your feet, but the chickens LOVE to fling their bedding all around while they are scratching at it! I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops, and went home with really dusty (thankfully poop free) feet! Next year I will be wearing my tennis shoes.
By far the most important thing I learned, is if you want to show your birds, make sure you have an “APA Standard Of Perfection” book to use as your “go-to guide” when preparing for an exhibition event. There are so many little things that the judges are going to be looking for that you wouldn’t know about, unless you had consulted this book. For example, the bottom of a chicken’s feet can be different colors on different breeds, having the wrong color could cost you a 1st place blue ribbon! Even though I may not plan on showing poultry anytime soon, I still plan to purchase a copy of this book to have in my library.
Regardless of your intent, go visit your local county fair and check out all the beautiful birds that are represented there! I hope you will enjoy your experience just as much as I did! I certainly plan to attend my local fair again next year, and hope to learn even more!