Assessing the Show Quality of Poultry

Article by Laura Haggarty

Part of my problem with critiquing a bird based on photos alone is that photos only show a small part of the story.

Photos can be very deceptive. Color can be off, black can show up that isn't there, and the angle of a photo can make a bird look wider or longer or shorter than it really is.

To really assess a bird, you have to pick them up, feel their weight, feel the straightness of their keels, feel the depth of their breasts and the width of their chests, and feel the straightness of their pelvic bones.

Photos only show half the story. It’s why a judge opens a cage and takes bird out when he judges it. If that weren’t important, they wouldn’t bother, they’d just walk down the line and make their decision based on looks alone. But looks are not all there is too it. Weight, feather quality, and all the rest is so important.

This is why I won't comment on someone's "line" whose birds I have never seen, much less handled. If I haven't handled your birds, I can't begin to make a comment on them, because I don't really know what they're like.

So when someone goes online and starts critiquing other people's lines and they haven't actually handled the birds, I say, take that criticism with a big grain of salt, because they may be basing their comments on hearsay, photos, and stuff they read elsewhere.

And no one should ever base their breeding program on how a given bird does at a show either. Anyone who does is doing themselves a disservice. Just because a given bird wins at a given show or two doesn't necessarily mean the bird should become the foundation for your breeding program. There are other factors that should be considered as well. Remember, it's just one judge looking at your bird on one day. How does the bird look the other 364 days of the year? That is so much more important.

What can we help you find? Search the website:

Subscribe to the PSC Insiders Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select the newsletter you wish to receive :

By clicking below, you agree to receive emails from PSC.

Note:  Did you subscribe but haven't been receiving a newsletter in your inbox?  Search your Spam or Promotions Tab so you don't miss a single issue!  

Return to the Home Page

Sign-up to Receive our Email Newsletter

* indicates required

Please check to confirm you give permission to receive this newsletter:

What's New Around Here?

  1. NY- New York Flying Flight Pigeons

    I am selling some New York Flying Flight Pigeons, mostly black tigers and some red and yellow tigers. I am asking $5.00 each and you would pay for shipping

  2. ON Canada - Black Crested White Polish *work in progress*

    Very limited hatching eggs and occasional chick/grow out available late spring/summer. I have been trying my best over the last 3 seasons to improve the

  3. Standard Double Laced Barnevelder ON Canada

    I will have hatching eggs and maybe some chicks available in late Spring/early summer. My stock is from Pleasantvilla Poultry. I will also have some silver

  4. OR - Cream Legbar (split t to Lavender) Opal Legbars

    R Fuzzy Butt Poultry Farm is offering split hatching eggs and day old chicks. Hatching eggs are $65.00 a dozen includes

  5. Wanted: Show Ready Orpington Hen

    Looking for show ready Orpington hen, willing to pay for a beauty. We are in central FL. Contact missyhazsoy@yahoo.com or call 863-838-4498

  6. Wanted: Bantam white leghorns

    ISO bantam white leghorn hatching eggs if you have some available email me at anna.seifert007@gmail.com