Goshen County Fair Poultry takes center stage at Goshen County Fair
TORRINGTON, Wyo. — Chickens, geese, and ducks were out for judging with their exhibitioners on Wednesday at the Goshen County Fair.
Bill Eldredge of the Rocky Mountain Feather Fanciers in Denver judged the poultry contests. For judging, he follows the guidelines of the American Poultry Association, although ultimately the decision rests on Eldredge’s personal opinion.
“The ideal bird, depending on the breed, would have a nice breast, type and colors,” he said. “It just has to be what strikes your eye at the time.”
Sadie Cross showed for the first time at the Goshen County Fair. She said raising chickens proved more difficult than she had expected. Chickens, she learned, have different personalities.
“Some are nice, some are mean,” she said. “Sometimes, chickens will attack you and some will just stand still.”
William Baker, 15, has shown poultry for four years. While market chicken contests focus entirely on the chicken, showmanship requires the exhibitionist to be presentable and to demonstrate his or her knowledge of the bird.
“I’m trying to remember 20 parts, and that’s hard because I’m also thinking of other things,” he said.
Still though, Baker said he enjoys getting to know an animal.
“I like having a bond with it and being able to show it to the best of my ability,” he said.
Spencer Booth, 10, said the hardest thing about raising chickens is catching them.
“If we need to dose them for worms or something,” he said, “I think catching them is probably the hardest.”
Kaylee Wilson, 17, began raising poultry two years ago. She used to show cattle, but she realized she was actually losing money by doing so.
“I decided I wanted to try chickens,” she said. “We’ve done broilers for a few years now.”
The important thing, she said, is to keep the chickens environment clean.
“We did this last year and we didn’t focus on keeping their pens totally clean,” she said. “We focused more on washing the birds. This year, we put sawdust down and changed it every three or four days, and they were whiter and cleaner. Today is show day and we didn’t really have to clean them.”