Cleaning your birds-written by Bantymom
Cleaning your Bird for Show - Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
Dubbing - (yuk, but necessary for old English)
Equipment for show (optional)
Is your bird Show Quality?-Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
Tips for Showing-Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
- The most up to date list of upcoming Poultry shows is kept here:Bantam Club Shows
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Is your bird a good shower? By : Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
They have breed characteristics , qualifications plus has the ability to "show off" when in the cage . This bird will be in excellent condition , has no disqualifications , or defects , also when the judge handles it , the bird returns to the cage & continues to show . Continuing to pose & represent the breed type , & catch the eye of the judge . This makes the judge appreciate their ability to find the bird that is a show bird .
When judges bring up their champion & reserve champion , they can compare the top class champions in RCCL- ROSE COMB CLEAN LEGGED, SCCL SINGLE COMB CLEAN LEGGED, FEATHER LEG, MODERN GAME, OLD ENGLISH GAME, ANY OTHER VARIETY AOV, BANTAM DUCK THE 7 CLASSES OF BIRDS RECOGNIZED IN THE AMERICAN BANTAM ASSOCIATION STANDARD.
Now if the bird is champion of its class , it has passed "muster" being judged for all the breed qualifications so it must be the best bird of the day, back in the aisle judges pick the winner! Now on champion row , we see birds who are not comfortable & don't show ( not representing the bird breed type). So these are not considered as good as the bird "showing" this bird has all the qualifications PLUS SHOWS FOR ALL TO SEE.
This quality of "showing" is so important to make all judges pick the bird as over all show champions . Ask any 4-her or FFA person , who are educated in the training of their birds for showing ."Showing" also depends on how much the owner has trained and worked with the bird at home . Making it comfortable at being handled , kept in a show cage for training to respond to the judge when handling it , and much more. I believe that all exhibitors appreciate judges for picking a good bird that "shows" be who ever it may that owns the bird . This makes the judges happy to have handled 500 birds in the day to find one good one . Judges are the most underpaid and over worked people I know. They leave their families and travel great distances to shows and barely take time out Saturday for a drink & food , to make every one happy to be leaving by 5 pm that night! Have you ever handled and examined 400-500 birds? SO TRAIN THE BIRD AND GET READY TO MAKE HIM A WINNER AT THE NEXT SHOWS.
Cleaning your birds
Now that you are going what do you do to clean your birds up?? this wonderful explanation was written by Bantymom
At least 3 days before the show, wash your birds. I do it a week before because weekends are the only chance I have to wash 30-40 birds at a time. (If I could only settle on one breed, things would be so much easier!) This way there is time for the natural oils to come back on their feathers. I set up three tubs, warm water, but not hot. 1st has just a LITTLE soap (1 tbls / 5 gallons), NOT sudsy, just to break the water tension so the water can get through their feathers. First I dip their feet in and scrub those with a toothbrush. Then, I put them in up to their necks and swish them around being super sure to completely clean their backside and the feathers on their feet (being careful not to damage those feathers). I take them out and use my hand to squeegee some of the soapy water off their body, but I don't touch the tail when I squeegee. 2nd has plain water, swish and squeegee. 3rd has just a little vinegar to help take out the last of the soap, swish and squeegee . I wrap them up a towel like a burrito (but not the tail) briefly to soak up more water. I do this on a hot day so they can dry naturally outside. Otherwise I have to set up my garage full of heat lamps. (I probably worry too much.) They go in individual coops (where they have been living for the previous 4 weeks) when they are dry to keep their feathers nice. I use rice hulls in these coops and change it often to keep foot feathers nice. Before the show I also trim their nails and beaks. Some people put a special oil (several different names) on the birds feet, combs, wattles, and beaks.
the oil that I have seen many use to primp the combs, beaks, wattles, and feet is called VetRX for Poultry
Cleaning your Bird for Show - Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
Many times when preparing for show we see some stains on the feathers. Well, before getting any moisture on the feathers here is what I always did with White Cochins or any bird. This should be done at least a week before the show. The stains that get in the feathers can be helped if you take a bird with DRY feathers and use old fashion white corn starch on the stain and a soft, very soft tooth brush to brush the corn starch through the birds feathers. This will work with colored feathers also. As most stains are some kind of grease or oil with dirt mixed in. This is a very good trick to cleaning a bird. Then after the corn starch has taken the oil and stains out if it is necessary to wash a bird make sure the bird has at least 7 days to preen the oil back into the feathers. Make sure you have all corn starch out of the feathers before washing.
When washing all heavy feathered birds, I found from experience that doing so before a show it is best to wash The dark colored birds on the Saturday before the show. Then when I dried them off with a couple changes of dry towels. Simply take the bird and when out of the last rinse water take the towel and wrap the bird up in it. Now lay it on the floor to dry when you then take another bird to wash in the soapy warm water in the sink.
After rinsing the 2nd bird, in a couple three waters wrap that bird up and unwrap the first bird. Now wrap the first bird in a 2nd clean dry towel. Start on the third bird to wash and do as before to the 2nd bird, when done washing it. By the time you have done three birds it is time to sit the first bird up on a chair or box and see what you have. Change the last birds towel to a dry one.
Now with Cochin type birds always blow dry with hair dryer on low, with the lay feathers. This applies to all the comb type birds that have lots of feathers. For frizzled birds dry against the feathers towards the head area. Frizzling them.
Now take the hair dryer and dry under the tail and under the wings. Thus the bird will be started to become dry. When you can get all three birds out from the 2nd towel drying then you can take and dry them and then take them back to the barn and a clean dry stall or pen with clean shavings to be let to dry for the rest of the week, changing bedding daily to keep them clean.
Most Old English & Modern games don't need cleaning. They do better just wiped with a clean wet rag, rung out with clean water. The Old English and Moderns have natural oils and sheen on them. So if you wash them you will make a softer feather as the oils have been taken out. Then as the bird preens it self the oils will come back in. Takes several days of this. The washing of games causes the sheen to diminish when they are preening their feathers, to bring the oil back in. They need hard tight body feathers, A hard type feather, likewise on Cornish or any other game type bird. If washing Cornish do so at least 7 days ahead so they can preen and get the oil back into their feathers. Likewise on a Rosecomb. They have a natural green sheen and oil in those black feathers that takes a while to preen out and get back to original feather texture, with body oils in the feathers..
The darker the bird the longer the oil takes to get thru the feathers and make the feather normal again. Birds like Cochins, Rocks, Leghorns etc need washed especially white birds. These lighter colored birds will take at least 5 days to get feathers preened good so give them 5-6 days before a show after washing. Some times you see birds a week after the show, that look like they were just then ready to show! The white birds need clean cages all the time to be good show birds. What ever breed they are.
Don't forget to clean and shape those toe nails. It is important to take a tooth brush and some good dish soap and water and scrub those scales on the toes and legs. Then use some VetRx or sweet oil to put on the legs and feet.
Take a finger nail clippers and cut those ugly long toe nails. Not too short just right. It takes a little grooming of the birds body parts to help him look like he is ready for the show.
Also if his beak is a little too long just easily take a emery board and smooth it off to look like it should.
For those combs take some sweet oil or VetRX and with a q-tip put some on the combs & wattles. Using the q-tip very carefully only get the oil on the comb and wattles. Not on the feathers. This is all done a week ahead of show time. Then redid at the show on Friday night and Saturday morning. Another clean up item is getting some good "baby wipes" at Wal-Mart. Generally just the round tube of wipes is handiest. Now with this in your clean up kit make sure you have some of these things to go to the show for final clean up.
(1) Get a nice tackle box or duffle bag and then put in it.
(2) Container wipes.
(3) toe nail clippers, box of emery boards, q-tips, also those cotton swabs used for makeup removal is best.
(4) you can use those gun clean up rags with the lanolin in them are nice for wiping the bird after clean up is done. Make sure it is stored in the re-sealable plastic bag. They are in the gun dept at K-mart. They are not heavy oil just some lanolin and such usually are gray colored.
(5) 400 mg Vitamin E capsules for the Friday night boost to the bird for stress, given by mouth to the bird. Make sure they have water and your own feed on Friday night, this helps the bird digest the capsule.
(6) Extra number bands for birds size. Always put the band number on the card as it helps identify the bird in any case.
(7)VetRx, or witch hazel, or sweet oil for comb and wattles.
(8) Ink pen to write with.
(9) A couple three soft thin wash cloths to use for clean up, at least one for the water you brought in a quart jar ( I used those waterer plastic bottles and used a mason jar lid to screw on to keep my water with a couple squirts of good dish soap.) This is put in a cut off quart milk container for the water to be poured into and rag to be wet and rung out. Easily sits on the cage top. This is used to clean the feet and toe nails first. Then with a clean container of plain water, and a 2nd rag, rung out good, I wiped the birds body feathers off good. The rags can be washed at home and dried and restocked to the container you use for carry case.
(10) a couple of important items is to have a gallon or quart jar of water from home. Also a lot of the men use liquid soap gallon bottles with wide mouths for feed, washing out good and drying and filling with the feed from home. The birds do better with their own water and feed. On Saturday only feed the bird about a tablespoon of mash so it will have some feed and water of course, then after the judging give it some more feed before carrying home. This is why it is nice to come Friday nite, the birds are fed and watered and are allowed a few hours to adjust to the cages and the environment. They show better.
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Tips for Showing - Glenda L. Heywood of the NPN
Never talk to a judge (usually men/women in white coats) when they are judging.
AFTER the judging is over, most judges are happy to answer questions you might have about why they judged your bird as such & such
As to keeping feet feathers do this on the birds you are to show I always used a 4x4 pen
or bigger and kept a trio in 4x8 pen and kept wood shavings on the floor of the pen and leaned them at
least every other day by raking the manure out. restock the shavings.
this is the only way for feet feather birds to stay good shape.
Also you can pick them up and groom the feathers with a soft baby brush daily and this trains them also for handling.
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Equipment for Showing:
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Dubbing--Here is how one person deals with dubbing
- Old English Game males have to be dubbed if they are over a year old in order to show.
- Most people trim them as cockerels at 6 to 8 months old. I have never had to
put anything on the combs just trim the top comb about an 1/8 inch from the top of the head.
- Do not trim close to the head as it will count off in points at a show.
- You also trim the wattles and the ear lobs. Just trim the wattles even with the
- throat not into the throat. Its not hard...helps if someone else holds the bird or
- you can wrap a cloth or towel around him. Just roll him up in it. most of the time
- after being dubbed they will usually strut around and crow when you release him.
- There will be some bleeding but it should clot pretty quickly. best to do this in cooler weather.
Dubbing is the removal of the comb and wattles from the males. With breeds having large combs and wattles (such as the New Hampshire and Leghorn) dubbing prevents frost injury to the comb and wattles, resulting in temporary sterility. Males with frozen combs are inactive and sore. The males' combs freeze because high humidity induces rapid heat loss when cold. A dry cold seldom freezes the combs of healthy birds.
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