Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my second poultry show in the Northeast. Last October I had enjoyed attending the Poultry Expo so much that I did not want to miss the largest poultry show in the Northeast, the Poultry Congress. I do have to admit that prior to attending the Poultry Expo, I had no idea what to expect. Now I know, and I would love to share my experiences with you.
At the two shows I have attended, there is a large exhibit hall with every breed imaginable, including chickens, pigeons, turkeys and ducks. The shows are very organized and well marked, so it is easy to track down your favorite breed or any breeds that you are interested in viewing.
There are many judges floating around. They can be recognized by their “coat”. Coats are typically embroidered and decked out in patches. It also includes their name and where they reside. These coats look similar to a bowling shirt or a lab coat. The judges have a tough job and it is taken very seriously. It takes proper training and years of experience to become a judge. As an attendee, it is required that you never speak to a judge or engage them in anyway when they are judging. As with any profession, you keep plenty of distance and allow them to do their job. An assistant accompanies them, writing down their thoughts and helping them keep track of all the birds.
On the periphery, there are always vendors sharing their wares and information with the attendees. This is a great time to have your questions answered. At this show, there was a table from backyardchickens and Peter Brown, aka~ the Chicken Doctor. There were tables from various feed stores, local artisans, as well as eggcartons.com, who brought all sorts of chicken supplies and goodies to sell. There was even a raffle.
Then there is the networking. I love meeting fellow chicken keepers, fellow bloggers, exhibitors, fans and kids that are beginning to develop a love for showing and breeding chickens. Everyone is incredibly friendly, approachable and kind. There is an amazing and palpable sense of pride and encouragement for keeping poultry. Here are two new chicken friends that I met yesterday. Ken Johnson is from Maryland and was exhibiting his Black Cochin and Jackie Koedatich was found holding her Black Australorp hen and rooster.
It is a wonderful way to spend the day with the family and meet new friends. I had the pleasure of seeing one of my junior exhibitor friends. She is the sweetest little girl and could not wait to introduce me to her newest flock member, Solomon! Solomon was the sweetest rooster I had ever met and he even posed with me for this picture.
These two shows that I attended were free including the parking. So if you are new to chickens or you are an advanced chicken keeper, why not check to see if there are any local poultry shows happening in your neck of the woods? I guarantee, you will not be disappointed. We certainly had great fun. We were able to avoid the temptation of bringing home any bunnies or poultry that were for sale, except for a new pair of chicken salt and pepper shakers.
This is the first of three planned posts about my day at the Poultry Congress, stay tuned to hear about my meeting Jan Brett and seeing her beautiful Polish Hens next.