Fall poultry show begins tradition
by Bradley Hartsell
On Nov. 9, the Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association hosted its first fall poultry show, displaying 556 birds at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.
The fall show was organized to serve as a preview of the annual popular February show that brings more than 2,500 birds to the fairgrounds. Vice president of the CVPA, Ricky Frost, said the fall show will become an annual event, although it will be the 'mini' version of the February show.
In addition to pure quantity, diversity of birds was also limited to Old English birds, a traditional bird of Great Britain dating back to the 19th century that comes from ancient fighting cocks.
Judges were available to examine and score each bird at the poultry show. Frost said the winners are taken from each breed, placed at the front in showing cages and then a grand champion is crowned.
Frost says, in addition to type and color, judges also weigh considerably the condition of the bird.
'Condition plays a big part of it,' said Frost. 'A judge can tell if the bird has been handled properly or improperly. They're experts.'
'There are standards of perfection and these judges know what those standards are,' he said.
People entered their birds from states all over, from Tennessee to Kentucky to North Carolina. People who raise birds for showcase events like the CVPA poultry show go to shows every weekend, according to Frost, especially in the winter.
Winter is when birds tend to look their healthiest, leading to a slew of poultry shows across the country, he said.
'It's a good show,' said Frost. 'And we use a lot of the money from these shows to promote 4-H.'
Frost clearly has ambition between expanding the poultry show to a second incarnation, and he'd also like to start promoting rabbits like he does birds.
'Kids can't really have chickens, but they can have rabbits. So we're trying to find a way to get them involved,' he said.
Frost added that, on Dec. 16, the CVPA will welcome Dr. Hector Cervantes to host a presentation on 'the day in the life of a vet.'
Cervantes practices in poultry medicine and has been working in the field for 35 years. He travels worldwide to give talks and he's coming to Coweta County to further educate the area's leading poultry organization.