Junior exhibitor needs help!

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Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Littleblue » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:32 pm

I'm helping my 10 year old son with his first show. He only has a few birds but he is very keen. The show is next week in Hastings and I am going to help him wash the birds today. Benn deloused and sprayed for scaly leg. Am I washing too early if the show is next weekend? What else needs doing? Any help gratefully recieved.
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Marina » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:28 pm

Hi Littleblue and welcome to PC.

What colour (and breed) are your son's birds? If they are a dark-ish colour they don't need washing - unless they are really dirty.
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby buzzard » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:33 pm

Welcome to PC, and great to read that your son is keen on the chooks.

As far as washing is concerned, as Marina says it depends on the breed, and colour. Big no-no to wash hard feathered fowl, and sometimes does more harm than good in any other bird that's not white (apart from silkies)

but it depends on what sort of housing you have them in if you can get away with washing them a week out, 2 days from the show is generally a good time as it gives the bird time to re-preen all the feathers back into place

a week out is giving them a pestene powder dose, and maybe giving their legs a bit of a clean and an oil up, but if scaly leg is showing now, it is probably too late
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Littleblue » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:41 am

We have a black pekin, a red and black booted bantam roo and a bantam partridge wyandotte.
All washed yesterday except the partridge. They are being kept in cages with hay at the moment but normally I let them out to free range during the day. Am keeping them in their cages til the show. :)
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Kracka » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:14 pm

Hi and welcome!

that's a good idea to keep the Pekin on dry/clean bedding - I use hay as I've got heaps of it, but others recommend wood shavings/sawdust (my Pekins try eating the sawdust though :? ) - hay seems to be soft enough not to break their foot feathering (which is what would happen if you try keeping them on a wire netting floor)

they're too low slung to be out & about with the wet weather (if you want to keep them clean) - although black is a forgiving colour (hides the dirt quite well :D )

with the blacks, I normally only wash 'butts and feet' the day before they go to the show, or sometimes on the morning (if they're being dropped off on a Friday night and I've managed to get the day off work) - even if you have fully bathed the Pekin, you may need to go over the feet & cushion (fluffy back end) on the day they go (to the show) anyway

but in the weeks before the show I step up the parasite program - namely dusting with Pestene or Diatom/Diatomite or even using some Eprinex - just to make sure they don't take any extra little passengers to the show (they'll get disqualified if they have) and that they don't acquire any while they're there

good luck and I hope it goes well - oh and make sure to talk to the judge afterwards, win or lose - they're an invaluable source of information and normally more than happy to help
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Littleblue » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:26 pm

Thanks so much for your advice. I can see that I have left lots of things too late, like not having the pekin out of the mud so she doesnt break feathers. Do I top and tail them with a damp cloth and water the day before they go to the show? What do I put on the roosters comb? Crikey we will be totally onto it next time :).

How often do I use Eprinex or similar on the birds for parasites?
Sorry for all the questions:) :D
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Kracka » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:47 pm

re Eprinex - the smallest bottle you can buy is 250ml (I think), its about $66 from a vet
but the problem is you only need about 2 drops (2ml) per bird (that's plenty for a Pekin, rate is 1 drop per kg if I remember rightly) - so at that rate, it will expire before you finish it!
and the other problem is that is not what it was originally designed for and there's not a lot of data as to how long it works for
so I like to dust (with the powders) in the weeks coming up the show, and then Eprinex about 2-3 days before the show

the reasoning for that is the dusting can make a black shiny (they reflect a beetle green in the right light) look a bit dull - so give them enough time to kind of shake the excess powder off - but use Eprinex (clear liquid) under their wing as it has no visible 'footprint'

and I don't really know how often to use Eprinex (with a chemical that's absorbed into their system I only use it on 100% healthy happy birds - if I've got a bird that is looking a bit off colour - I use the powders)
also, if she's laying & you're eating the eggs - you've got to consider whether you need to think of withholding periods (its published as having no withholding period for cattle...)

I 'top n tail' in the laundry tub with about 5-10cm of warm water - just watch when you're washing the back end or lifting their feet, they have a tendency to counter balance by dipping their head down.... under the water!
then sit them on a towel to dry off a bit

roosters combs - the best product I've found is this http://www.trademe.co.nz/pets-animals/birds/other/auction-741673429.htm
I apply it with a cotton bud - and its best if they don't wriggle round, apply to their comb, wattle and ear lobes (if they're red ones, which they will be on a Pekin) - I've had some roosters close their eyes and almost smile when this is put on
also do the hens comb/wattle/lobes
but don't worry, if you don't have time to order this, you can also use oils (I've had coconut oil recommended), Vaseline (just watch this one as its a bit sticky & can pickup dirt/dust) - some people do the Vaseline step just as they put the bird in the show cage

with the comb dressing, I've had it recommended that you wash it off after the show, otherwise their skin can go a bit white and dry looking

trimming their nails is usually a good idea - just normal 'people' clippers are fine, you're just removing the point, or closer to the 'quick' - don't go too short or they could bleed

don't get to stressed out with all this information - I don't get all my birds to the show in perfect working order and these are entered in the junior section, so there's bound to be a bit of leniency with a child having to do all this prep
you won't get told off for missing out a step!
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby Littleblue » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:46 am

Thanks so much everyone:) you are so helpful!
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Re: Junior exhibitor needs help!

Postby buzzard » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:34 pm

awesome.
Best of luck to your son, hope he enjoys it
The person that will be judging your son's birds, is really approachable &, i'm sure he will only be too happy to give any constructive feedback to you guys.
and if your son catches the bug, you could consider entering the Waikato show, middle of the school holidays lends itself to being really jnr friendly. I am judging part of the jnr section there (although not the bantams), but any which way there would be plenty of people there that could answer any questions etc for you guys
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