Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chicken Show, Show Chickens

Well, we've added two more to Madison's flock, but these two are "birds of a different feather" - they're show birds.

Stenson and Buff are Buff Brahma Bantams. These two are what is considered "show quality", and should give her plenty of show quality chicks for competition and sale. I know, I said no more bantams on the farm, since they aren't pulling their weight with eggs, but she's been wanting to get into competitive poultry, and they were beautiful and sooooo gentle...

We got them at the Eastern New York State Poulty show at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds today. What an interesting experience! It was our first "real" poultry show, and we went as spectators, not competitors (next year!) This was a very strange mix of chic and shabby. The sport definitely seems to be dominated by older men, but there's a little bit of everyone...and the ones in the beat up old Ford held together with baling twine spared nothing for their birds who were pristine and pampered, and the guy with the fancy cowboy hat and boots had ratty birds shoved into cages that hadn't been cleaned in weeks - so there was the whole spectrum.

Inside in the judging area, it was dominated (80%) by bantams. A disappointment for me, since I favor the standards, but interesting none the less. Not as wide a variety of breeds as I might have expected. If Blueberry is still around next Fall, he will definitely be an entry - there was only one other Splash Cochin, and he could have beaten him hands down. Now to see if we can find him a girlfriend....there's a tailgate sale next we'll see!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fair Frenzy

Schaghticoke Fair!

Well, you could never tell Madison had been waiting all summer for the Fair from this picture...but I think this was more of a reaction to Dad popping pictures - what a scowl!

Anyway, the 4-H theme was Colonial Times, so we dressed up...

There, that's much better! Here she is posing with her bantam cockerel she raised from an egg - Speedy. She got 6 blue ribbons in all for the chickens, and one red. The green ribbon is for Shooting Sports Laser Shoot (who knew she'd be a natural with the .22? Scary...)

She had lots of veggies in the projects display...and won lots of blue ribbons there, too! The best part was the feedback and tips from the Master Gardeners to help her plan for next year.

Her sunflower seed head was huge - biggest of those submitted!

Much of her produce was some of what she markets to Price Chopper. Our little entrepeneur has surpassed the $50 mark...

Connie, from our club, and Madison are here being judged on poultry showmanship. Madison is working with Speedy, and Connie is working with Summer. Both of them did very well.

Finally, after Set up Day, and almost a week straight of going to the Fair everyday for something or other, we come to the final evening...time to break everything down...

But it wouldn't be the Fair if we didn't come home with baby here are this year's crop: two Easter Eggers, and a Rhode Island Red. That's (l to r) Zippee, Spring, and Design.