For someone who has never shown before, the idea can be daunting. If you’ve never been to show but want to you absolutely must! It’s a lot of fun! You’ll learn a ton at a show and find some really fun people! There are things you need before going to a show. The first things you will need, in addition to a bird to show, are supplies! I’ll discuss what basic supplies you’ll might need and why. Along your show career you may pick up tidbits from other show people and you can add to your tool box.
Speaking of toolbox, a really good way to keep all your supplies together is a small rolling toolbox. My husband and I used to show dogs and we used a small, wheeled toolbox that has a telescoping handle to lug all our supplies around. It works great for poultry shows as well. Another idea is a large tote bag. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of what supplies you’ll need! Links and example photos of each item are included.
Small animal claw/beak trimmers and a nail file. What works is just a small pair of cat claw trimmers that work much like a pair of scissors. They’re small enough to trim small claws, beaks and the ends of spurs if you trim those. A nail file is also good to have to smooth any sharp edges after trimming beaks and claws.
Sweet oil. Sweet oil can be applied using a small makeup brush, like the type used to apply eyeshadow or with a cotton swab. This particular type of oil is used to make those combs and waddles nice and moisturized which makes the red nice and bright. Apply it the night before or morning of a show and your chicken’s combs will absorb it and look very nice! When shopping for sweet oil you’re looking for the kind that was/is used to treat ear aches. A little goes a long way! Vet Rx is another product people use for combs, waddles and feet.
Coop cups. You’ll need coop cups for feeding and watering your birds while at the show. These can be something as simple as little Dixie cups or you can order small plastic cups from Chewy or Amazon. They don’t need to be huge. Just something so your birds can have a drink and eat during their overnights at the show. Coops often have little clips to hold the cups. It doesn’t hurt to get coop cups that already have clips or hangers of some sort built in.
Luster’s Pink Sheen Spray and a silk show cloth. This is a fine mist oil spray that you can mist your bird’s feathers with. It comes in a pink hair spray type can. Immediately after spraying a light mist on your birds you wipe them down with the silk grooming cloth to make their feathers shine and to “zip up” any feathers that are frayed from being in the cage. Silk show cloths can be purchased at Twin City Poultry Supplies.
Shavings. Shavings are usually provided, however, if you like a specific type or want to add more to your bird’s cages you’ll want to bring your own. A couple of large handfuls is usually all that’s needed for the bottom of a cage.
Lice and mite spray. One of the most common souvenirs you’ll bring home from a show is bird lice and/or mites. Bring some poultry lice and mite spray of your choice to ward off any unwanted stowaways.
Zipties. Often people will bring small zip ties or even tiny padlocks to keep their birds safe from theft overnight at a show. They lock the cage doors closed with them. Thefts are very, very rare.
Wipes. Baby wipes or pet wet wipes can be used to wipe the bottoms of feet off if your bird happens to poo and then step in it, because that’s what they do. For cockerels and cocks that happen to get it on their wing tips wipes are great for wiping that away. They’re also good for cleaning up little messes, like if you spilled or dripped your sweet oil on something.
Food and water. You’ll want to bring food for your birds and their own water. You can most likely find water at the show venue, but if your birds are picky about drinking “strange” water you should bring your own. Save your empty milk/juice jugs and fill them with water from home.
Writing pen. You’ll need a pen to fill out your cage card for your birds. This is the card that has your bird’s information on it like leg band and type.
That’s it! A pretty basic list. As you show you may find that you need additional supplies, see a good idea from a fellow show attendee or even decide you don’t need all of this stuff. If you end up forgetting something someone is usually nice enough to let you use/borrow some of theirs. I encourage anyone even slightly interested in showing to get out there and attend a show. They are really a ton of fun!