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Showing Your Backyard Chicken At The Local Fair

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Champion birds at the Cache Country Fair

Back in the spring of 2020, people across the country stress-bought baby chickens. Now that fair season is upon us, youth can show these chickens at their county fairs . 

Every year, youth all over the country participate in showing chickens. Some get really into the poultry showing world and breed their own lines of standard chickens. Others like to take their backyard chickens with them to the show. 

Bryan Lay, Cache County Fair poultry barn manager said that at local fairs like Cache County, it’s ok for people to bring their production birds. 

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“We do see an increase in numbers of these chickens [at the fari] that are any color or breed other than what's sanctioned in normal shows around the US," Lay said. "Those birds, a lot of times, wouldn't even be shown at a regular sanctioned show.” 

Some of the birds people get for eggs are not standard breeds, which are breeds that are recognized by the American Poultry Association. Lay said that these birds are usually sex linked, which means the color of the bird is an indicator to its sex.

“To get to get a red sex link- say they take a Delaware hen and a Rhode Island Red Rooster, which are both sanctioned breed, you could breed them together and get a cross chicken," Lay said. "Now they're sex linked. So, every hen comes out a reddish color and every rooster comes out whiteish as a chick.”

Showing backyard chickens can be a good starting point for youth and for those interested in getting involved Lay said, “just pick a breed you want to show. I would say stick with that breed and try to try to master that breed and do good if they're really wanting to go around the US and show their chickens”

Kailey Foster is a senior at Utah State University studying Agricultural Communications, Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science while also getting a minor in Agribusiness. She was raised in the dairy industry in Rhode Island where she found her passion for the agriculture industry as a whole. Here at USU, she has held various leadership positions in the Dairy Science Club and the local Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. She also also served as the 2020 Utah Miss Agriculture and is currently the 2021 Utah Ms. Agriculture. Here at UPR, she works on agriculture news stories and she produces agriculture segments such as USU Extension Highlights, the Green Thumb, and Ag Matters.