Poultry Show Common Sense

I don’t have any interest in competing my birds at poultry shows, but I do like going. I’m fortunate to live less than two hours from one of the largest poultry shows in the country, The Northeastern Poultry Congress. Have you ever been to a flower show in the dead of winter? For which a dark and dreary convention hall is transformed with blooms, and where gardeners go to dream and plan for the growing season? Well, a poultry show is like a flower show for chicken people. This weekend, at the Congress, there will be thousands of birds to look at, a huge raffle to enter, and booths to peruse.


I’ll be there! Look for me to the side of the hall, where I’ll have copies of my books for sale. Special for the Poultry Congress, I’ll have my books of vintage photographs on sale for Half Off at $10 each. (Saturday only, and only at the show.) I’m going to bring a couple of extra chairs so that you can stop by and chat for awhile. Let me know if you’re coming. I hope to see you there!

If you are coming to this, or any poultry show, it’s important to take precautions to protect your own flock. Chickens can look perfectly healthy, they could even be ribbon winners, but still be carriers of disease. Poultry carry both viruses and bacteria in their droppings, their dander and in their breath. I’ve seen chickens with obvious cases of fowl pox (a virus that causes spots and lesions on combs) in the show cages. Use common sense. Do not wear the same shoes to the show that you wear out to your coops. Do not wear your barn coat. When you get home, wash your clothes. This is basic biosecurity. It’s a lot easier to do these days, what with our large wardrobes of clothes that can go right into the washing machine. Imagine how hard it was back in the early twentieth century, when poultry shows were at the height of their popularity. (Of course, in those days, they didn’t know about biosecurity and those coats might have been washed once a year. Maybe.)

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I hope to see you at the Poultry Congress on Saturday, January 18! (I’ll be wearing a new, black winter coat, that I never wear to the barns.) For a link to the Poultry Congress site, with directions, go to my Events page.


  1. Oh, yeah. Major drool time. Though some of the chickens I saw at our county fair this fall looked like they were made of nothing but fluff and fuzz. I’d be afraid to let them out in a strong wind and never near mud!!! :) I also made a fool out of myself over the rabbits. *sigh*

    Your chickens are soooo happy today standing in the sun. They were spreading their wings wide into the sun and just standing there with their eyes half closed looking very vulture-esque as they warmed up. (I have to be careful on a back road I drive to a farmer’s market because of stupid vulture youngsters standing in the middle of the pavement to warm up. I’m surprised there aren’t more bodies.)

    And if someone could tell me what the extra ramp in the chicken yard is to? Please? I keep trying to use the Goatcam, but Pip and Caper are loving the sunshine too, so all I get to see are goat butts! :)

  2. Sigh, wish I could attend that show! It’s so very hot here during the “Fair Season” the birds just look exhausted! The Poultry Fancy shows I have gone to have a majority of the skinny Modern Game birds in addition to almost all bantam versions of Wyandotte and Leghorn birds. I took the scenic route home one evening where there are farms and found chickens, regular full size chickens! The folks at the two places I stopped were so very nice. I too, would like to know what/where the extra ramp leads to! Have a wonderful time at the show Terry!

  3. I would guess the second ramp goes to the small rabbit hutch that Phoebe spurned in favor of a spot under the nest boxes in the little barn. When the goats aren’t in the way, you can see it from the goat cam – outdoor view.

  4. I love a good poultry show.
    Even though I’m in the Midwest they are far and few.
    There were a couple I went to last year but was disappointed in both. They were more than 50% call ducks and A LOT of silkies and I am just not a fan of the silkie breed.
    Have fun Terry and take lots of pictures to share especially of the very rare.

    • Ken, I think that maybe the sort of people who like to bathe and fluff their chickens are the ones that also like silkies. And call ducks are totally adorable and people like to show them off :)

      • Silkies remind me of child’s toy not a “real” chicken. Just my opinion not trying to rile those who love silkies.
        Yes call ducks are just adorable. I actually tried to buy a pair (actually I just wanted two females, male ducks are worse than roosters in the baby making arena) from some of the exhibitors but know one was willing to sell. ;-(

  5. Terry, I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but I have witnessed Misty chasing after Betsy on quite a few occasions now, for no apparent reason other than she has spotted her in the general vicinity. When Twinkydink was still alive, she would run interference for Betsy if she was in the same area, but now it seems she’s on her own. I just thought I’d mention it, because I just saw her being driven off again.

    • I’ve been watching that drama for ages :) That’s what Betsy gets for being a pesky little bantam. Actually, Twinkydink wasn’t a fan of Betsy either. My guess is that what you saw there was Twinkydink being in the same vicinity and not wanting the other hens about. Betsy was smart enough to be just close enough to get her “protection” without being so close that Twinkydink ran her off, too. Betsy is able to get to water and food, and to roost. She never gets physically hurt. You’re watching the pecking order. When it’s bad, hens are pinned down and pummeled.

  6. “Barn coat”…I had to look that one up. My mother told me my vintage Larry Levine blazer looked like a barn coat…

    I got to see an orchid show in December years ago…very impressive! I can only imagine how much goes into “programming” the flowers to bloom on schedule.

  7. Next month, we have the Florida State Fair here. I love to go and walk through the Poultry and Rabbit Barns. Then there is Cracker Country, an old time village of country life from the early 1900s complete with farm animals, garden, and of course an old time chicken house/coop with hens. Just love it!

  8. Hi Terry, I’ll be there with my husband. We’ll stop by and see you! We’re really looking forward to it!