Last weekend was its 49th show. The event is held at the Eastern States Exposition Center and features more than 2500 birds, including large fowl, waterfowl, turkeys, pigeons, Guineas, and of course, a variety of wonderful breed chickens. Various breeds of poultry are exhibited and judged for ribbons and prizes. There are also informative seminars offered on different topics, and an area for vendors of good, nutritious feed, and other supplies. Attending this poultry show, and others like it across the country, is a way to see some of these fascinating birds and to build relationships with knowledgeable, passionate breeders.
Enjoy these photos.
The Northeastern Poultry Congress holds its show every January. I have been making the trip for several years – it is a very popular and well-attended event.
All the show birds are exhibited and judged in the Mallory Complex of the Expo Center. Visitors are able to see the various breeds up close in their crates. Each cage is tagged with the bird’s breed, color or variety, and gender.
Prior to poultry shows and again before judging, these birds are groomed and groomed again – every feather is in place.
There were more than a thousand chicken breeds – some with gorgeous markings and feathers.
These are Blue Birchen Cochins – such beautiful birds. The Blue Cochin is stately, gentle, and quite rare. The Cochin breed was brought from China by clipper ships in the 1800s. They are large Asiatic chickens covered with soft feathers from head to toe. Cochin hens are good layers and have excellent dispositions.
This is a black Frizzle Cochin bantam hen. A bantam chicken is a small hen. In most cases bantam chickens are smaller versions of a larger variety.
The Sebright is a British breed of bantam chicken. It is a true bantam – a miniature bird with no corresponding large version. Look at its markings. It’s named after Sir John Saunders Sebright, who created it as an ornamental breed in the early 19th century. The Silver Sebright rooster is also hen-feathered, meaning it has rounded feathers rather than the pointed feathers typical of males.
The Golden Sebrights, such as this hen, have stunning golden bay feathers laced in black.
Here is a Sebastopol goose. If you follow me on social media, you may already know I have several of these interesting geese – most have even been bred, incubated and hatched right at my farm.
There were also some stunning duck breeds at the show – isn’t this pair lovely?
And we saw fancy pigeons. These are black Frillback pigeons. The Frillback is a breed of pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. Frillbacks are descendants from the rock pigeon. The breed is known for the frill or curls on its wing shield feathers.
This is a large fowl salmon Faverolle cockerel. Faverolles are good-sized chickens with beards, muffs, feathered legs, and feet, and fifth toes. Males are straw-colored with reddish brown and black markings.
In this crate – a salmon Faverolles hen. The Faverolles is a French breed of chicken. The breed was developed in the 1860s in north-central France, in the vicinity of the villages of Houdan and Faverolles. These birds are energetic, curious, and talkative.
Poultry shows are family-friendly and allow visitors to see both traditional and new breeds. The first poultry show in the United States was in 1854, before there were even standards of showing.
Here are some of the awards ribbons displayed on one side of the large exhibition room. The birds are judged against others of the same color, sex and age. They are also judged based on variety and breed. In the end, chickens compete against large fowl and water fowl.
This is a non-bearded White Crested Black Polish chicken – a unique breed with its huge bouffant crest of feathers and v-shaped comb. These birds are sweet, beautiful exhibition birds and can be good layers in the backyard flock.
Here is a black Langshan rooster. Black Langshans are also from the Asiatic Class of poultry and originated in China. These large stunning birds are glossy black with bright red combs, dark eyes, and a more pronounced upright appearance.
The Buff Chantecler is The Buff Chantecler is a gentle, hardy, dual-purpose breed. This one is a hen – the coloring is similar to that of the Buff Orpington.
Here I am with my friend, Christopher Spitzmiller, who attends this show with me every year. I am holding a gorgeous black Silkie chicken. The Northeastern Poultry Congress is always very informative and very interesting. I always learn something new when I attend. And, I did bring a few birds home with me too.
This year, I brought home a pair of Bourbon Red turkeys. This is a six month old Bourbon Red turkey hen.
This one is Woodford or “Woody” for short – after the bourbon, of course. He’s about two years old. I am hoping the pair will breed.
I also brought home a gray Silkie, along with a dozen Silkie eggs, which I am able to incubate here at the farm.
I love these large breed Cochins. I got a breeding pair of blue Cochins and two black Cochin hens.
And four Bantam White Plymouth Rocks – all beautiful to look at and so friendly. If you’re interested in raising chickens or just love learning about all the breeds, find a poultry show near you and go! They’re lots of fun!