Amid a cacophony of crowing, cackling, honking and quacking, 850 birds, 200 people and four judges filled the Missouri State Fairgrounds Poultry Building Saturday for the 34th annual Missouri State Poultry Association Spring Show.
Association Treasurer Bernita Miller, of Windsor, said that besides chickens, ducks and geese, people were also showing turkeys.
“We can’t have any out-of-state waterfowl, but we can instate (birds),” she noted. “It’s a double show, that means we have two shows in one day.”
American Poultry Association and American Bantam Association Judges Jim Sallee and Amanda Stallman, both of California state, Art Riever, of Iowa, and Steven Beaty, of New Mexico, judged the show. Poultry entries could compete in both shows that included a youth and adult show.
Miller said the reason she enjoys coming to the show is somewhat like the old adage “birds of a feather flock together.”
“You get to meet the people,” she noted. “People here are real good, they are nice people and you just enjoy visiting with them.
“A lot of the people do a lot of traveling,” she added. “We’ve got a lady from Florida, we’ve got a guy from Minnesota, we’ve got Illinois (people), and Kansas people.”
Participants show their birds and can sell them as well.
Dwight Madsen, of Carthage, one of the the show’s directors, said local people often don’t attend the show because they aren’t aware of what it’s about. He noted the Missouri State Poultry Association has a spring show and a fall show each year. The next show will be held Oct. 22.
“We need to get it out there to the local community,” he said. “We have all these exhibitors from across the state and out of state, they come and the local people don’t know about it. There’s a lot of interest in the Missouri State Fair and there’s a lot of interest from the locals, but they don’t understand we have a annual chicken show.
“You know, I want to say, it’s all about the kids,” he added. “That’s why we do showmanship … our junior bird totals have just sky-rocketed in the last two or three years. It’s all about us getting out there and getting the message to the 4-H clubs.”
Madsen, who owns Heads-Up Bantams Farm, said he shows Bantam chickens and ducks and will show at the MSF this year.
“At the Missouri State Fair I’ve won the waterfowl championship,” he said. “I show bantams mostly.”
Barb Dummermuth, of California, Missouri, recently began raising attractive long-tailed Phoenix chickens. She was attending the show and decided to become a member of the American Phoenix Breeders Association. Dummermuth was signing up with the Associations’s Treasurer Toni Rivers, of Christmas, Florida, on Saturday and said she was hoping to show her birds at the Missouri State Fair this year.
“That’s why I’m talking to her, because if I won one of those shows, I’d probably cry,” she added. “Just by accident, I was coming here to meet a lady to get some hatching eggs and as I started coming in the building, I see them. I said ‘oh my gosh I have a Phoenix! I love them.’”
She said she decided to raise Phoenix chickens because she went to a swap meet at Jacob’s Cave and saw the breed.
“They had three hens and a rooster for sale,” Dummermuth said. “I was just going to buy all little chicks, but we ran into a friend who said ‘you should buy some adult hens so you can get eggs right away.’ I was so glad I did.
“They had the Phoenix there and I bought them, and I just love them,” she added. “They have a really different crow and they are just a beautiful bird.”
“They are very unique,” Rivers added. “Of all the poultry, I think the Phoenix is the most beautiful.”
Rivers said she has a Phoenix with a tail that is 7-feet-2-inches long.
Rivers brought several long-tailed Phoenix to exhibit at the show including Max, a Golden Phoenix, who has a 4.5-foot tail. This was her first time to exhibit in Missouri. On her way back to Florida she planned to stop in St. Louis and sightsee.
“They do well traveling and they don’t seem to mind it,” Rivers said of her birds.
Miller and Madsen said the show is “good for everybody” and encouraged the local community to visit the fall show.
“It gets the kids away from the computers and the TVs and all this other stuff, and keeps them out of trouble,” Miller added. “It’s just fun, it’s a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it.”
She added that the October show will be a much larger show featuring Bantam and Plymouth Rock breeds.
“We’re having a Cochin National and we’re having a Plymouth Rock National,” she said.
She estimated the Oct. 22 Missouri State Poultry Association Show would draw approximately 400 people and 1,3oo to 1,4oo birds.
“We’ll have them coming from all over the United States,” Miller said. “It don’t cost the people to come out and look, it’s free.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss; photos by Faith Bemiss | Democrat