Showing Faverolles

First consult the poultry press - fancy fowl or some other publication for dates of forthcoming shows. Apply for the schedules well in advance of the show date. Read schedules carefully, some are for young stock only. Most schedules have classes for Faverolles, some for bantams only. Therefore your large birds may have to go into the Any other Variety class. Note the closing date for entries.  Indoor training pens are necessary. Metal cages of an adequate size are the most suitable. These need to be in a well lit, dry building. Clean shavings for litter and a low perch if possible.   SELECTING YOUR BIRDS - type ie. shape is the most important element. Choose your best birds - those who nearest to the standard. They need to be fit and well fleshed. Pen and dust them at least a week before the show, longer if they are young birds and this is their debut. Feed them regularly, a little maize, bread and other treats along with their regular feed. Fresh water at all times. If possible go in and out of the shed often to get them used to people looking at them. Handle them often. 3 or 4 days before show day they need to be washed, even black birds. Have shampoo or a good quality washing up liquid, some swarfega, a bristle nailbrush, a shaving brush, cotton wool, cocktail sticks and lots of towels readily available. Firstly rub their legs with swarfega, gently massageing it into the scales, leave it on for a few minutes before standing in a bowl of warm water, lift out and scrub the legs with a nail brush. Then back into the water, soaking the bird completely and gently soaping . Clean the beards with a soapy shaving brush. Rinse in fresh water at least twice or use a spray. All the soap must be rinsed away. Wrap the bird in clean towels. Inspect the legs, if there is still dirt between the scales very gently remove with a not too sharp cocktail stick. Do not attempt to poke around the foot feathers - they are very sensitive. Clean the comb with wet cotton wool, also the face. Gently clean the nostrils with wet cotton wool swabs on a stick. Towel dry the bird before placing in a warm place - before a fire or radiator in a darkened room. Hairdryers can be used, but not against the feathers, birds do like their feathers been blown the wrong way. When ready to go back to the pen some food and fresh water will probably be appreciated. Do not put a damp bird back into a cold shed. All this may seem difficult, but Faverolles are generally fairly cooperative, and they are noticeably more tame after all this attention.  SHOW DAY Each bird needs a clean box with lots of clean shavings, do not have the box too small as they get hot on a long journey, especially the large Faverolles. Also too large a box is not ideal as they can move around too much! Leave plenty of time to get to the venue. Find your penning slip. That shows the class and pen numbers. Birds plumage benefits from being stroked with silk. Their combs will look redder if a little baby oil or Vaseline is gently rubbed in. pen the bird. Do not water them, but a little corn may be tossed in to occupy them until judging, particularly if they are young and nervous. Many halls are closed to the public whilst the judging is in progress. Boxing the birds at the end can be very busy, almost chaotic. If you are unsure about getting your bird into the box someone will assist. Better to have someone help than have a bird escape and scared witless whilst being caught. Once at home feed and water them. As a precaution they can have their feet and beaks wiped with dilute tcp or some such solution before releasing them back with the flock.                    

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