The poultry barn at the Eastern New Mexico Fairgrounds was the center of attention Wednesday afternoon, as children and their families gathered to take part in the poultry show at the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair.
Weldon Scitern, 14, of Roswell, was among the young people in the barn showing their birds to the judge and answering questions about them.
This year, more than 150 birds were entered in this year’s poultry show, including 45 broiler pens — a set of three meat chickens that ideally weigh about five pounds each, Andrea Steppe, agent with Chaves County 4-H said.
Scitern this year entered three fancy chickens, each about 2 years old.
He said the three birds he entered were chosen because they stand out among the others he has raised in terms of appearance and behavior.
A calm chicken is something that he said is good for showing. Judges look for birds that have all their feathers and are proportional in terms of strength on both sides of their bodies.
A member of the 4-H Rustic Arrows, Scitern has been showing animals at fairs for about five years. In years past, he has shown other animals such as rabbits, but he said this year, he is devoting himself to the poultry show.
Having a good bird to show, he said, requires lots of preparation.
“You have to make sure they are pretty clean. You don’t want a dirty chicken,” Scitern said.
Chickens need to be well-fed, have a good cage and a safe place to be kept, he added.
The fair though is more than contests and winning, but a time to connect with friends and have fun.
“For me, it’s not so much about competing. I just like to have fun and do whatever,” Scitern said.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.