In the United States, anyway, there are NPIP standards. It stands for the National Poultry Improvement Plan. If you ordered your chickens from a hatchery, they will usually identify themselves as a NPIP approved hatchery - it means the baby chicks you order from them have been vaccinated for Pullorum, Typhoid, and other diseases.
If you bought your chicks as babies from a feed store, they will most likely have gotten those babies from one of these hatcheries . . . and will tell you which one. Each fair can have different requirements, but for the most part they do require these vaccinations. To learn all the requirements of your local fair, you'll need to read and understand the information contained in the Premium Book that will be available from your local fairgrounds. Sometimes, you'll find them at the counter of your local feed store.
Common Errors That Will Get Your Chicken Disqualified
The judge may disqualify your birds if you haven't entered the complete and proper name of the breed and other required information in the registration process. Watch out, though - try to visit before judging is to take place. Once in awhile, the cage tags get mixed up, as they are sometimes placed on the cages by busy fair volunteers. Clear up any such mix-ups before judging takes place.
What are the Advantages to Showing Your Chickens at the Fair?
- Getting your chickens trained, tamed, and groomed can be a fun family activity, assuming everyone involved enjoys raising chickens.
- Hanging out with other chicken hobbyists can be fun and informative
- As an exhibitor, you'll most likely get free admittance to the fair, any time you wish to visit
- If your birds win, you'll get a "premium check" - not much, but it buys a little feed. It's based upon whether you get a trophy, a best of class, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place ribbon
- Winners will be awarded ribbons or trophies. Not so many trophies in the recent past, unfortunately, but ribbons are still dispensed
- If you volunteer during the day, you'll enjoy meeting fair visitors and answering their questions about chickens
- It's a great educational opportunity for you
- You'll benefit year around from having tamed chickens - advisable for fitting and showing, but an added pleasure when interacting daily with your flock
What if You Want To Learn More?
Coincidentally, I've got you covered. Benefit from my 30 plus years experience raising chickens which translates into showing at fairs every year other than the four I was serving in the military. I could show you all my ribbons and trophies, but I'm pretty humble; plus, it would require unpacking them.
If you'd like to understand how to tame and train your chickens for fitting and showing I'm confident the books below will help you (if they don't, please take advantage of the generous return policy, which I heartily endorse). They're priced low enough for anyone to afford - my goal is to grow this hobby:
This book is available on Amazon.com - scan the QR Code below it and you'll be directed right to it. It's priced at a whopping $2.99. The rooster in the photo is Spike, a "Holy Terror" to even the most manly visitor.