First timers take showmen competition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ROME TOWNSHIP— The first time is the charm.

For both the junior and senior showmen in the market chicken competition at the Lawrence County Fair Monday evening, their newcomer status did not impede their ability to take home a trophy. Brandon Watson, of Symmes Valley FFA, and walked away with the senior division first place trophy while Katherine Klaiber, of Soaring Eagles, walked away with the top spot in the junior division. Neither had ever shown chickens before thought Klaiber showed lambs four years ago. What is the secret to handling those birds?

“You have to mess with them,” Watson said. Klaiber was more precise:

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“You have to handle them gently every day over and over again,” she said.

Judge Melissa Adkins said she looked for depth of knowledge and how well the kids handled their birds.

In the market chicken judging, there were 17 pens of chickens. By the time the judging was over, Tony Wilson, of the Dog Fork Haymakers, walked away with the grand champion trophy and Dakota Barnett, of Country Rebels, took home the reserve champion trophy.

What is the secret to raising winning chickens?

“It’s the way you feed them, keep them cool,” Wilson explained. “You can’t let them get too hot.”

Barnett agreed.

“You just take care of them— and match them up really well,” she said.

In the skillathon competition, the top three winners in the senior division were Chris Wilson, of the Dog Fork Haymakers, Dakota Barnett, of Country Rebels and Tony Wilson, of the Dog Fork Haymakers. In the junior division, first place went to Katherine Klaiber, of

Soaring Eagles, followed by Tiffany Wilson,

of the Dog Fork Haymakers, and Broolyn Blakeman, of the Andis Cornhuskers.