Al­ter ra­tions for the show world

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI’m think­ing of show­ing some of my chick­ens later in the year. Do I need to feed them dif­fer­ently to my lay­ing flock?

AAndy Cawthray says: Feed­ing chick­ens that are used for show­ing is rather dif­fer­ent to feed­ing those in­tended to pro­duce eggs and meat. The ob­jec­tive re­volves pri­mar­ily around the look of the chicken and en­sur­ing that its plumage is as good as it can pos­si­bly be.

There is a va­ri­ety of ex­hi­bi­tion feed ra­tions avail­able from man­u­fac­tur­ers. How­ever, most ex­pe­ri­enced and suc­cess­ful ex­hibitors will have their own con­coc­tions, the pre­cise in­gre­di­ents of which will be a closely guarded se­cret. Be­ing placed at a show is, af­ter all, as much about the ex­hibitor’s abil­ity to get the chicken look­ing its best for show day as it is about the chicken per­form­ing and be­ing se­lected.

A few of the bet­ter known tricks of the trade are in­creas­ing corn in­take to re­duce lay­ing, im­prove feather qual­ity and add weight; us­ing sun­flower and lin­seed to in­crease the bloom of the plumage and en­hance nat­u­ral oil pro­duc­tion in the preen gland; and avoid­ing the use of yel­low corn on white plumaged birds as its pig­ment can give the plumage a hue.

Feed­ing chick­ens that are used for show­ing is rather dif­fer­ent to feed­ing those in­tended to pro­duce eggs and meat

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