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 Post subject: PREPARING POULTRY FOR EXHIBITION by E. COBB
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:23 pm 
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From "PREPARING POULTRY FOR EXHIBITION" by E. COBB, F.Z.S, page 93,94.


Before commencing the actual process of preparing different breeds of poultry
for the show pen, we desire to touch on a matter closely connected with the same,
viz., the disqualifying or "passing" certain birds at shows by judges. We havo
for some time endeavoured to bring this matter before the Poultry Club, but owing
to various circumstances have hitherto been prevented from doing so. Either we
have been unable to attend the committee meetings, or when we have attended ami
given notice of ourdesire to bring this matter before the attention of the committee,
there has been so much urgent business to be gone through that no opportunity ha*
hitherto arisen. Undoubtedly we shoul(J have wished to have had this subject dealt
with by the Poultry Club before it became necessary for us to deal with it here,
but, as previously stated, owing to various causes, auch has not been possible. In
our opinion, a judge who honestly desires to put down fraud is placed, aooording 10
the present rules of the club, jn a most unenviable position, and unless our suggestion,
or some similar or better one, be adopted, we see no prospect of ever putting an enJ
to many malpractices only too well known to the majority of exhibitors.
To understand our meaning, we must give a few illustrations to show how It is
that a judge is, by the present regulations of the club, placed between two fires

the Poultry Club on the one hand, and the disqualified exhibitor on the other.
Take the case of a bird with a trimmed comb. That hundreds of these are shown
and win, we think no one with any great experience in the Fancy will deny. In this
respect we might mention a conversation we had a few years since with a prominent
exhibitor re Hamburghs. We informed him that a certain gentleman said that the
winner's comb at the show we were attending had been trimmed. His reply was: —''You tell Mr. that if he doesn't trim Hamburgh's combs, it's simply
because he doesn't know how to." Most judges know that this, to a great extent,
]a true, but if they desire to continue as judges they are powerless to act. Let one
disqualify ; the result would probably be that the exhibitor and two or three
friends will attend the inquiry, and prove to the satisfaction of the committee that
the bird injured itself against some wire netting, or it was done through fighting,
or something of that sort, perhaps, this being really in this instance the true state
of affairs, but still that is not our point, and the upshot of which is that the disqualification
is disowned, and the person who receives the brunt «f the battle and
loses prestige is no one but the poor judge, who, rightly to our l.iind, disqualified
a bird that was not shown in a natural condition. Again, take the case of a laced
or spangled bird. Are not these sometimes shown with a hatful of feathers extracted
in order to make the lacing or spangling even ? But few judges would care
to disqualify, knowing full well the exhibitor has only to state that the bird
is moulting, or that he has a number of " feather pluokers " in his pen to get ou»
of the difficulty.
Of course, in the case of stitches being observable in the lobes, etc., or the insertion
of another bird's feathers in the ts.il being detected, the proof of fraud is
self evident, and one would have thought that in the caoe of a judge removing, is the presence of the show secretary and some of the committee, black colouring
matter from a black legged fowl's leg, would have been ample evidence to convict
o». But such is not the case. By proving to the satisfaction of the committee
that such black substance came there by the bird running on cinders is sometimes
sufficient to exonerate the exhibitor. ,
Lastly take the caise of short tails or tailless birds. For instance, an Indian
Game in 'the first place, and a Cochin in the second. A clear proof of having
moulted, or is moulting, is all sufficient for the purpose.
Now, notwithstanding all these difficulties to be contended with in getting a
disqualification upheld, we know of a case where a gentleman desired the Poultry
Club to censure a certain judge for having expressed an opinion, after judging was
over, that a certain bird that he had "passed" was trimmed in the comb, that
instead of "patsing" he should have "disqualified." To prove that a bird's
comb has been cut with scissors or a lancet, and not done accidentally by a piecs
of old tin or by some other cause, is, in nine out of ten cases of trimmed combs,
an impossibility for the judge to do.
The upshot, then, of the whole business, to our mind, is this :—If it is the
desire of the Poultry Club, and of the Fancy generally—which we do not for
> moment think it is in either case—that birds should be shown in an unnatural
condition, let it be clearly stated so, so that the young fancier who is inexperienced
in the'" art "of trimming may stand an equal chance with the man who by hil
skilfulness in the operation does not give strong enough proof of fraud to be
convicted at the present time. But, if it be the general desire that birds should
be shown as nature made them, then give judges a chance to put a stop to trimmed
combs, plucked bodies, coloured legs, and imperfect tails. In every case that we
have just named we feel sure that there are times When birds appear in the show
pen uiider such conditions without the remotest act of fraud on the part of the
exhibitor, and it is hard on the exhibitor to be disqualified for an act he or she never
committed, and also hard on the judge, for the reason that the exhibitor can prove
probably how the imperfection-occurred, and is most annoyed with the judge for
his conduct in the matter. But if " fraud" was-not a question at all, then we
think that the atmosphere could be greatly cleared of difficulties.
If the Poultry Club were, for instance, to insert a clause in their show rules
something to this effect: "Any bird exhibited at this show insufficiently feathered,
or with any substance on its legs of the same colour as the bird's legs should be,
or with any damage to the comb, which in the judge's opinion adds to its perfection,
he shall place a ' passed ' card on the bird's pen, stating the reason. Such
' passed ' cards in no way to be considered as a disqualification, but simply that
the exhibit is not in a fit state to be shown."
Of course the ordinary rule about fraudulent dyeing and trimming would still
remain in force. Thus a Minorca that by some means or another had a false serration
knocked off would have a card on its pen with the word " passed " printed thereon,
and underneath the words " On account of " would read " back of third serration
damaged."
Should a judge, judging under Poultry Club rules, refuse to place such a card on
a bird's pen, when the sime was pointed out to him as coming within the meaning
of this rule, then, unless he could satisfy the committee of the Poultry Club that
such was not the case, the Poultry Club should refuse to countenance any show
where the said judge was officiating.
As we said before, there will be no question of fraud about these " passed " cards,
they will simply mean that the bird is not in a fit condition for showing, so that
no stigma will lie against the honest exhibitor, and the dishonest ones would soon
give over a practice which they found was bringing in no grist to the mill,


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 Post subject: Re: PREPARING POULTRY FOR EXHIBITION by E. COBB
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:34 pm
Posts: 39884
Location: Canberra
Thats very interesting reading Looloo than657 for finding and posting it



Raf

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