Well, it's the little things that count. And sometimes people forget to inspect their entries and compare all the minute details to The American Standard of Perfection. Poultry judging is done on a points scale, and everything is taken into consideration. An entry can lose points for having:
- too many toes for the breed
- a broken toenail
- an incorrect eye color
- a broken feather
- the wrong leg color
- an extra sprig in the comb,
and many other traits that can bring what to many appears to be beautiful and perfect in every way, down to white ribbon (or no ribbon at all) status.
It pays for exhibitors to dutifully study each of the details in the Standard before deciding to show a particular bird.
Whether your entry is tame enough not to struggle when the judge picks it up, and the effort put into grooming can make a great difference, too.
On my website I've offered a free report with fitting and showing tips. You're welcome to download it, probably will be helpful, especially if you're new to fitting and showing.