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Guardian Angel
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Can anyone tell me what to expect at my first pigeon show? I have a while to get prepared, but do not know what exactly to expect.

Thanks
Chris
Hi CHRIS,What show are you talking about,and when is it? What bred or breds are entering,and how many birds? Have an entry form yet,be sure that you submitt it on time. Be sure that you arrive on time to coop your birds, all the show that I have been to also have cut off time for cooping your birds. Find someone that is in charge of the breeds that your birds will be shown in and find out when that will be,so that you are there when your birds are judged.I must cut it short as I have some things to take care of.Feel free to ask questions and I will try to help you. GEORGE;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi CHRIS,What show are you talking about,and when is it? What bred or breds are entering,and how many birds? Have an entry form yet,be sure that you submitt it on time. Be sure that you arrive on time to coop your birds, all the show that I have been to also have cut off time for cooping your birds. Find someone that is in charge of the breeds that your birds will be shown in and find out when that will be,so that you are there when your birds are judged.I must cut it short as I have some things to take care of.Feel free to ask questions and I will try to help you. GEORGE;)
Unless i find another show, my first show will be in november(Faircount Pigeon show) in Ct. I should have anywhere from 4-10 rollers for the show, one giant Runt, and a few tumblers. My main questions are regarding basic "showmanship." For example, am i responsible for bringing all 8(let's say) young cock rollers to the table by myself, or are there stewards? I'm assuming family can help out. Also how is the general atmosphere? Are the other exhibitors cold as a general rule?
 

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In most shows, there will be stewards assigned by the club to bring the birds up. At smaller shows or at shows where the birds are kept in the exhibitors crates for just a few hours, then we usually steward our own birds. Exhibitors at pigeon show are usually extremely friendly - there is none of the snob stuff I've occasionally found at other animal shows. As for preshow - obviously have your birds cleaned and ready to show. The day of judging, you might want to touch them up early - a half drop of salad oil on a rag and then clean the legs and feet so they are red; etc.

Obviously faking is prohibited and a disqualification, but removing the occasional foul feather is accepted show preparation. Also, bathe your birds - let them take their own baths -- I do this every day for three or four weeks up to the shows and then stop them about two days or so before the show in order for the feather bloom to be there. Of course, when you do let them bathe, they have to be able to dry off in an area that's not filthy.

Remove any broken flight or tail feather at least six weeks before the show in order for the new one to be fully in before show time. You might want to add a bit of salad oil (maybe a quarter teaspoon to a pound or so of feed) or add some safflower and/or flax seed (just a tad of this since too much will make them crap like tar) to give them a shiny feather.

Also make sure that your birds are coop trained before the show -- there is nothing worse for the judge than having birds bounce off the cage when you try to appraise them (I know).

As for show etiquette - obviously never talk loud enough and point to any particular bird so that the judge knows it's yours. Also, NEVER take off your hat and whack the top of the cage with the bird in it so that it will stand up (no joke, I actually had a guy in Utah do that to his bird while I was judging -- I stopped judging and explained quietly, since he was a new fancier, that this was not considered either proper or sporting)

Basically, go - have a great time and be VERY careful. You say you have a cavy/rabbit show background. Pigeons are a lot more addicting and there are LOTS more breeds. You're going to get to that show and you're going to be tempted to take home about 20 more breeds that you suddenly fall in love with. If you have the time, space and temperament, go for it. If not - consider carefully what you like. Also - here's a trick I learned from my married friends -- if you DO think you might take home more birds, always bring a few birds with you in a crate to wherever you're going. This way when you come home, the spouse usually doesn't notice the few extra as well :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't believe someone tried hitting the cage with a hat...but i guess it takes all types. LOL! I figured I'd keep it small and simple to start, so right now I have Birmingham Rollers and Runts. We are considering American Fantails. But We want to start small, and learn the ropes so to speak. We also are doing our best to not become another "pigeon mill." I don;t care if my birds all get DQ'd, I'm just there to learn how to better my flock and meet other pigeon people. BTW, regarding keeping a few birds in the carrier... This past weekend, I drove to a chicken swap to pick up a baby runt, and tumbler. Well while We were there, I met a former 4-H leader of mine, and he brought me to his neighbor who was selling his runts. He ended up giving them to me for 5$ each(The ones I posted in the color post). My partner looked at me, with the "more birds? look, and said, I'll go get the carrier. right now we only have 7 pigeons, and 6 doves. small, but we all start from somewhere.

Thank you so much for your help. And I believe you posted on my color post too, so thank you for that aswell. I may be posting more birds there, as bird colors are confusing to me.

Thanks again
Chris
 

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Most clubs that sponsor regular all-age meets like the two you mention also have young bird shows in Sept-Oct as well. Check your area ffor county fairs, there's a really fine fair in the Hudson Valley. Contact your NPA Director, or Tony Patti at NE Pigeon Supply, they might help.
 
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