HARRISBURG, Pa. — Young avian aficionados from across the Keystone State demonstrated their talents at showcasing their birds through the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show poultry showmanship competition — and two Chambersburg teens topped the competition.
Andrew Rheam, 15, was named Grand Champion Showman. Maria Klein, 13, also of Chambersburg, was reserve grand champion.
Tim Bowles of Lucasville, Ohio, evaluated the 23 youth through appearance and attitude, appearance of bird, showmanship and knowledge of poultry.
Correct attire for showing chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and other poultry includes tied-back hair, no jewelry and a white lab coat. Exhibitors must follow all instructions of the judge and keep their eyes on the judge and the bird.
Birds must be clean and have no broken feathers. In preparation for the show, showmen bathe their birds or clean them with a wet cloth. Once dry, they rub baby oil on the birds’ beak, legs, toe nails and ear lobes.
Beyond physical cleanliness and presentation, birds must exhibit proper breed character and be the right size and weight for their breed. Showmanship requires preparation ahead of time — working with birds at home so they’re calm while being held for the judge.
Calm birds help exhibitors to properly and safely handle birds and give them to the judge and to meet the judges’ requirements, such as moving a bird’s wing for examination.
Exhibitors must possess knowledge of their bird, with information gleaned from “The American Standard of Perfection,” a poultry resource. This book details the appearance, origin and purpose of birds accepted in competition.
— Pennsylvania Farm Show