The amount of effort put into preparing a chicken for showing can very much depend upon the breed and plumage type of chicken, the time of year, and the keeper’s attention to detail. The precise methods of preparing a chicken for show are also often closely guarded secrets, with all manner of tonics and preparations being given and applied to the chicken in order to make sure it looks its best on the day.
In general, though, the chicken will need a bath or wash at least three days before the show (this will allow the bird to dry fully and for its plumage to regain its form, sheen or lustre). Feet, leg scales and toe nails will all need scrubbing of dirt too.
On the day of the show they will need transporting carefully in order not to soil their feathers, and, prior to being penned, they will need their ‘final touches’. The first time you show a bird it’s worth spending as much time talking to and watching more experienced exhibitors on the day to pick up tips, as it is preparing your own birds.
ABOVE: A proud winner. Adam Henson from Countryfile was there for this one (rear centre)
RIGHT: Judging eggs
BOTTOM: A pen-trained Brahma