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 Post subject: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:36 am 
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How well your bird places in a show depends on its condition, its disposition, how closely it conforms to the standard description for its breed and variety, and how it compares with other birds in its class at the show.
Select your birds early. Don’t pull them out of a pen the day before the sow. [I believe preparing a bird to show starts when they hatch from the egg]. Always have backup birds just incase the birds you have selected can’t be shown on the day. Allow sufficient time for preparation and training. Birds should be trained and prepared to display their best qualities. Birds unaccustomed to a cage do not ‘show’ to their best advantage unless trained beforehand.
Getting birds accustomed to a cage is a simple process if started early. Start about 2-3 weeks before the show. Place each bird in a cage similar to ones used by poultry shows. A large fowl should be used to a show pen of 24” X 24”. Handle each bird 2 or 3 times a day in a manner similar to that used in judging. Always feed the bird after training with something they like. Start by putting the feed at the front of the cage, then try hand feeding, by holding the food on the bars of the cage. In time the bird will move forward to the front of the cage when someone walks up to the cage. This is good when they are being judge; there is nothing worse than a bird frightened in the corner at the back of the cage.
There are 3 steps to safely remove a bird from a cage:
Approach the cage slowly, open the door quietly and prepare to remove the bird, headfirst. Manoeuvre the bird until it stands with its head to your right or left. Then reach into the cage across the back of the bird with your right hand, firmly but gently grasp the most distant wing at the shoulder. Keep the wing folded and close to the bird’s body.
Rotate the bird in the cage so that its head is pointing towards you and open the door.
Slide your free hand, palm upwards, underneath the bird’s breast. Simultaneously, grasp the bird’s right leg [just above the hock joint] between your thumb and index finger while clasping the left leg between the second and third fingers. This places your index and second fingers between the bird’s legs. The breast bone should be resting upon the palm of your hand.
Bring the bird out of the cage head first, keeping its head towards you. After holding the bird for a while, open the wings to examine various parts of the body just as you would if you were judging the bird yourself. Always return the bird to the cage head first and lower it gently to the cage floor. When accustomed to this confinement and handling, the bird will respond by presenting a good appearance to the judge. Many entries of good merit and never seriously considered by the judge because they have not been trained. Frightened birds tend to stand in a crouched rather than normal position, thus their true type is not revealed to the judge. Birds unaccustomed to handling may struggle when examined. Any of these things will give the judge unfavourable impressions. Therefore, it is recommended that you train your birds to become used to a show pen.
Note: a tip to use in the training room is to have a radio on. The birds get used to noise and voices, because at a show there is plenty of noise in the poultry pavilion.

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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:52 am
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Hello can I ask do you leave them in the training pens for an extended period say 2 or 3 days? Also should I play the radio to get them used to noise?


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 6:25 am 
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Personally I put mine out on the grass during the day for a few hours when I'm home in special pens 2m X 1.2m then back in the trainers that night , and mine always get a radio to listen to :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 8:45 am 
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Skermet wrote:
Hello can I ask do you leave them in the training pens for an extended period say 2 or 3 days? Also should I play the radio to get them used to noise?

I've been known to leave mine in the training pens for up to 3 or 4 days when I have had over 30 large birds to get ready
and yes the radio needs to be played - medium to loud - loud if you have no neighbours to worry abt

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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:47 pm
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Some more usful tips from animals in school http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/animalsin ... /index.htm
Use an adequately sized training pen, housed in a shed or very well shaded area. Provide clean, dry floor litter and ad lib feed and water. Treat birds to minimise external parasites. Cover the pen with a hessian bag to lower the light level. Ensure quiet, steady movements near, and around, training pens. Use hands to stroke and handle the bird. If it becomes agitated, cease handling. If a bird is to be removed from the pen, move it in and out head first.


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:25 pm
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Thank you for sharing your tips and experiences it has given me a good heads up on what I need to do for the best outcome I can hope for


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:27 pm
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Do you wash them the day before the show or 2 days before? and what do you use I was thinking of baby shampoo?


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:50 am
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Location: Brisbane
In relation to traing pens, I generally leave my birds in them for the show season, with the occasional run on the grass. Note my training pens for the large birds are 800x800 a bit biger than a show pen.

In relation to washing, it should be done +3 days prior to the show. I generally do this the weekend before. It takes a few days for the bird to reset the feathers after the bath and get fresh oil spread on the feathers.
What to us or process? I have different methods and white and coloured birds.
The shampoo would be ok, as it is generally quite mild. The key is to ensure that you get all the soap out, as the soap can dry out the feather. This will show up by the feathers looking a frayed and have a hard feel.

White birds:
In tub 1 - soak a hand full of Lux flakes in hot water to disolve, then add enough cold and hot to make a nice warm temp (baby bath).
I keep the bird in the water for a good ten minutes, using a washer to rub the feathers and legs. Rub with the feather i.e. head to tail. Some tims a bit of extra soakling or rubbing is needed to get out stains.

Tub 2 - Warm water only - Rinse the birds ensuring all the soap has been removed.

Tub 3 - Warm water with some glycerol. helps to replace some of the oil into the feathers. Rinse the bird in wash.

Dry with towel, place in cage or peg out on lawn in sunny spot. Ensure the birds have access to water while out in sun.

Coloured birds don't have the same issues as whites i.e. stains. the washing time is a bit less.
You can replace lux with wool wash.
Thats the feathers , the legs and heads is another stage.
Rhode Red


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:23 pm
Posts: 693
Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Great information as always Sue. I love your posts!

I have a few questions:

At what age do you start to pen train your birds?

How often do you pen train leading up to a show with what length breaks in between?

Should you lead up to each different thing you do while pen training? By that I mean have multiple pen training sessions so you're not doing everything at once? So would you start with music only first time, music and feeding the next, music, feeding and holding the next and lastly washing before the show?

Do you just keep pen training and not entering your bird in a show until it is quite calm being in a pen and being held?

Thanks :-D


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 Post subject: Re: TRAINING YOUR BIRDS FOR SHOWING
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:50 am
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Location: Brisbane
Hi Rooova,

Sorry not Sue, actually Lee. ;)
I'll work through your question 1 by 1.
To help fill in my background, I have had experience with a variety of breeds both bantam and large, soft and hard feather over +25years breeding and showing. Unfortunately what works for me and my methods, may not work for you. But very happy to spread the knowledge.
Age at Pen training.
I find that there in no use in trying to pen train males until they are close to being mature and about 6-8 weeks for being ready to show. I find they come to hand a lot easier (e.g.RIR's) when they are ready to show interest in the girls. They are always keen to see you. Tip: once a week allow the have their wicked way with a cull hen or pullet. They soon learn to come to the from of the pen when they see another bird going past. I handle each bird several times in the morning and afternoon, just as a judge does, open wings, check feet etc. then when you please the bird back in the pen, stand him up in the best stance you a can make them that is suitable for the breed.
Females. they should be left to run until about 2 weeks prior to the show. You need to ahndle the birds as per the males above. The girls tend to go stale quicker than the males, after the show put them back into the run. This will allow her to freshen up. she will remember the training when the next show comes around. The movement from run to training pen to run will generally stop her laying. Not a bad thing.

Once the above females have been trained they should only be penned after they are washed (1 week prior to show). In this week week will get back into the swing of being a show bird and get a custom to being handled again.
The males are generally kept in the training pens and they get a day about in a run by them selves. All is good while the social order remains, once you disturb it all changes. This change makes returning a bird all but impossible without some blood letting. Not a good option for you show birds.
I generally have a set routine, but change the order of who gets handled first. Also sometimes I handle then feed then handle.
Remember a hungry bird is a frendly bird, within reason. if you have a bird that is a little flightly, try to give them a little extra atention. However some just never get better, in these cases just let them out and save yourself the frustration, they seldom change..
I hope this helps.
Rhode Red


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