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#73210 - 09/16/05 06:32 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Deb AZ Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 452
Loc: Arizona
Just to add to Bill's advice, that and using the bluing shampoo correctly is the secret amongst us exhibitors. Don't feel bad one of the top white rock exhibitors in the country turned his rocks blue, wasn't a bad shade really.

Main thing about many white fowl is they seem to show signs of old feathers faster or easier than other varieties. and I would never advise using bleach you will only dry out the feather making seem aged even more or possibly breakage may occur.

Some swear by a bar of ivory soap and some even use the old snow flake soap (though not sure where they get it).

One of the tricks I do is to pre-rince before bathing with some warm water and glycerin to add some moisture to help loosen dirt and to prevent the harshness of soap from adding to any feahter damage.

But in viewing all those amazing white fowl keep in the back of your mind not only are they sheltered from the harsh elements but they are selectivly bred.


Deb

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#73211 - 09/16/05 08:49 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
the way that I USED to wash my birds was by filling one of those rubbermaid trunks with lukewarm water, adding some dawn dishwashing soap, swash it around and dunk the birds in it. After this, I would rinse the feathers off with a garden hose or a rinse bucket...whichever was easier on the bird. After he had his feathers cleaned, I would wash with some bluing solution to help him look better. Since the shows are during the early, early fall in OK...when it is still 90 degrees, I would put them in a rabbit hutch with air circulating constantly. Underneath, sides...everything but the top. The bottom consisted of wiring (which I had already cleaned). I would leave them there overnight and they would be dry by morning. However, this was on RIR and Brahma's. The Brahma's had excellent results, but with the RIR, I could never tell.

I've learned my lesson with a 3 year old White Giant cock. He was left out in the sun with sussex, barred rocks, brahma's, etc. So, he is thoroughly yellowed and has since been retired from showing. These birds are in a shaded area underneath an acorn tree. Actually, part of their coop is supported by it. However, I will probably put tarps over the pen in the winter to keep the sun from coming through the branches. Thank you so much for all the tips guys! I realize that I am a newcomer to big time showing, but it is great to have all of your help! I wish there were more people like you at my shows!

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#73212 - 09/18/05 08:30 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I would just like everyone to know that I did very well with my birds at the County Fair, but disagree with the rulings of the judge. The judge disqualified my birds because he said, "they have not been properly handled for showing" when he reached into the cage to handle the birds. He then disqualified them stating that the birds were "dirty and had black feathers." ( I had just been notified about the show an hour before it started! Stupid club leader...) So, I decided to do it for the birds to get experience. I would firstly like to say, that one of my birds had "grayish" feathers on her back. Otherwise, they were only unbathed. However...
The girl that was showing White Jersey Giant pullets in the pens next to mine, had their birds legs tied for the judge to catch them. AND the birds had yellow legs. ???? What? Isn't that a disqualification? Next, as I rant about how 4 of my birds were disqualified and her birds placed under my best pullet...while hers had yellow legs...a black Australorp pullet had white wing feathers, while a Black Minorca hen had two combs. Is there a place I can contact to write a complaint about the judging that took place. I admit totally that my a few of my birds could have been disqualified because they were "dirty and had black feathers", but shouldn't the rule stand for all of us? If feathers colors are wrong on a bird, and the leg coloring is wrong, and the comb, shouldn't there have been worst placements than disqualification. I'm very sorry that this is so long, but I believe it was unfair for the other kids that were trying to learn about showing and now believe they have good birds. Thank you for your time and any helpful comments about complaints to any judging board are greatly appreciated!

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#73213 - 09/19/05 08:17 AM Re: Making them whiter?
Garden Chick Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 447
Loc: Minnesota
Good for you! Stick to your guns. At a horse show years ago my horse went through the trail course with out a glitch. Another horse refused the plastic, knocked down a barrel, and totally leaped over the tires and they were awarded the trophy I should have gotten. My mom went to the judge and complained and the judge said that the other horse "had great potential" Mine was just a little POA and the other was some exotic thing. SOME judges are just predjudicial, you can't let that stop you. You sound like your willing to learn, and determined. Keep up the good work!!

On another note, I bet bathing a chicken is a little like bathing a cat?!?!? OUCH! Also interesting that the suns turns white brassy.

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#73214 - 09/20/05 07:27 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Deb AZ Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 452
Loc: Arizona
Well I have been exhibitng for almost 16 years so if I may address some issues for you, and maybe I can help you for the future shows.

White fowl must be white, no evidence of any other feather color, but on occasion depending upon the line you may find a periodic black feather and if not removed before showing it can lead to a disqualification. There must be no evidence of a forigen color.

The condition of a fowl must be very severe for a judge to DQ, this could range from total absence of feathers to possibly mite infestation. Remember everything is points, broken or missing feathers due to condition or molt would reduce points. Condition of fowl is one of the essential criterias for any judge, you can have the best in type but if the condition is bad it will and should not take best of Breed. In some ways exhbiting a fowl not in "condition" gives opportunity for a fowl not truly representing the breed the opportunity to be the example.

Unfortunatly it is at the judges descression in regards to handling fowl. Most GOOD judges do what it takes to contain and handle the fowl for inspection. Others unfortunatly use the descression in a negative way expecting all fowl to be docile. but as an exhibitior it is your responciblity to present a managed fowl, one that poses no threat to you or a judge. This is where cage training and preparing a fowl for show comes in on your part. It is at the judges descression and as an exhbitor these are decesion that we may face. Let me give you an example, class win achieved, on to champ rosecomb but fowls feet are dirty. This is a critique moment and everything must be perfect or as perfect as can be. Fowl looses to Rosecomb. Sad and unfortunate but a lesson to be learned. Will never happen again.

Yes, wrong leg color should be an automatic DQ.

As far as lodging a complaint if it was a sanctioned show, at the time you could have paid 25$ to lodge an automatic complaint and have the decesion reviewed. Now the best course of action is to take this as a lesson and be prepared for the next show. We all have type of issues such as these arise as exhbitors we take these set backs or lessons and make it harder to find fault the next time.

Deb

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#73215 - 09/20/05 08:29 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I understand exactly what you are talking about DebAZ, it's just I wish he would have judged all the birds the same. However, now that the birds have gotten one show under their belts, they are ALOT more docile then they used to be. I believe the rough handling that the judge used was the trick to get them to be more tame when I'M handling them. They all pose PERFECTLY now! lol...Welp..I got them the experience I knew they needed, and that's all that counts!

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#73216 - 09/24/05 07:04 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Snowbird Offline
Bantam

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Texas
Back to the whitening. I don't show birds but my kids used to show sheep. Woolite done a great job of whitening. Yess, I know, wool not feathers but some day you have nothing better to do, give it a try.

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#73217 - 09/25/05 02:41 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I have officially found the perfect mix for my chickens. I was so afraid that it would damage the feathers of my show birds that I tried it on a mix breed that I had.

I put hot water into a bucket, poured half a packet of RIT whitener and brightener ( it didn't change the feather color...at all..I tried it on a black bird first) With the RIT, I added Dawn moisturizing dishwashing soap, and bluing solution. It looked absolutely disgusting. I waited for it to cool down until I could comfortably put my hand in the water for 3 minutes. I put my light brahma/wyandotte mix into the solution and scrubbed with fingernail brushes. I would scrub the feathers together under the nail brushes and going with the grain of the feather. I looked this morning and the yellow was completely gone off of her! I was so happy!!! I did this process to my White Giants, and I'm telling you, the birds at the Fair don't have a chance at being whiter!!! Thank you all for your ideas! And don't worry, none of the feathers were damaged, broken, or bent. I checked the length of every one of their bodies! Thank you all again!

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#73218 - 09/28/05 03:35 PM Re: Making them whiter?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
O.k...I'm about to attempt my new washing discovery this Friday in Tulsa, OK. Wish me luck guys and I'll post in the Miscellaneous forum about how they did!!! Thank you all for your suggestions!!!

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