• 55°

Broiler chicken show returns to the fair

4-H agent

Matthew McClellan

I’m going to steal a page from my coworker Morgan Watt’s playbook and talk about chickens, specifically show broiler chickens.

This year, there will be a broiler show at the Rowan County Fair for the first time in a while. We have eight youth who will participate in the project and the broiler show will be on the first Sunday of the fair.

If you are interested in participating in 2018 (it is too late for the 2017 fair), give Morgan or me a call at the Rowan County Extension Office and we will put you on the list.

These youth will receive six chicks to raise and they will bring their best three to the fair for judging. This project is one of the fastest and least expensive ways for youth to get involved in livestock and animal projects.

So what makes a good broiler chicken? I guess we should start with what a broiler chicken is and work our way from there. Broilers are chickens specifically bred and raised for meat production. These birds grow very rapidly and reach market weight in approximately 42 to 49 days. Broilers are not selected for longevity or egg producing.

Youth who will be enrolled in the broiler project and compete in the broiler show will receive freshly hatched chicks and will be responsible for raising the chicks to marketable weight in the allotted project timeframe.

Youth will have to manage housing, temperatures, feeding, and make management decisions to raise a uniform set of three birds for judging. We as agents will provide technical assistance to the project participants, but ultimately the youth are responsible for making all the management decisions for their project.

So, let’s assume you are at the upcoming Rowan County Fair and want to check out the broiler show. What is the judge looking for? What is the lingo? The short answer about what the judge is looking for is uniformity and weight.

The top performing birds will all look alike, being as similar as possible in size, shape, fleshing and finish. The top performers will also be of acceptable weight, approximately 8-10 pounds per bird.

Some of the terms you will hear the judge use during the show are confirmation, fleshing, uniformity, finish and skin pigmentation. You may also hear the judge talk about flaws and faults — things that make the bird less desirable for market, such as bruises, parasites, cuts and tears, or deformed legs and wings.

Confirmation is simply the overall shape of the bird. Fleshing refers to overall muscle amount and distribution. Uniformity is how similar the three birds in the pen are to one another. Finish is how fat is distributed across the bird, and skin pigmentation is the color of the bird’s skin.

All of these traits are taken into consideration to determine an overall best pen. The best pen is awarded the Grand Champion award and the second best pen is awarded the Reserve Champion award.

If you would like to learn more about showing broilers or anything to do with livestock or 4-H programming; feel free to call the Rowan County Extension Office at 704-217-8970 and talk to Morgan Watts for livestock questions or Matthew McClellan for anything relating to 4-H. We would love to hear from you.

Comments

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs