On Sunday, we took one of our new Black Bantam Wyandotte hens for her first outing on the show bench. At least, I thought it was her first outing, but once we had her in her pen at the show, it became obvious she was an old hand at this whole deal. She stood up so beautifully in her pen, and was happy to 'show' herself, turning this way and that when anyone stood in front of her pen. I was very pleased with her. She has such good type and shape and I really felt confident that she would at least place in her category.
I tried not to hover while the judge was inspecting her, but I admit, I was not too far away. My hen knew exactly where I was, and she looked me when the judge brought her under a light to get a better look at her. I swear she gave me the stink eye for allowing her to be manhandled by a complete stranger. hehe!
I peeked around the corner when the judge put her back into her pen, and supressed the urge to dance on the spot when he chalked a "1" on her pen number.
Then, he hovered in front of the pens with other birds from her class in them. He seemed to be deciding between my hen, and one other in the class. He paced in front of the two pens, frowning in thought and then finally settled on my hen's pen lifting his hand to chalk "CH" next to the "1."
This time, I did dance on the spot; well out of his line of sight, mind you! Then I took off in search of a couple of my friends, and fellow club members to squeak the good news to them!
I was so pleased with this result, and it proves to me that I have a good eye for selecting which bird to put on the bench. I felt that this girl was the best of my four hens, and it would appear that the judge agreed with my assessment. I have eggs from this little girl, whose name is Dora (aka "dorable") and can't wait to see how the chicks turn out.
When we got her home, I set up a small pen for quarantine and put her into it. Then I hung her sash on the outside to snap this photo. She is not being very cooperative. She was tired, hungry and well and truly over all the fuss by then, but it gives some idea of her shape and type, anyway.
While we were at the show, I also met up with some friends from one of the facebook groups I belong to. One of them had some bantam Wyandotte eggs for me, and another one was delivering a custom built brooder that her hubby had spent the weekend building for me.
The brooder is made of MDF and has a perspex divider in the middle so that it can be separated off into two compartments. This will be handy when we have different breeds, such as bantams and standards. There is a light fitting in either end so two batches of chicks can be kept warm at the same time. It is very well made and I will be using it in a few days when my first batch of bantam wyandottes hatch.
I also picked up 1.5 dozen bantam Wyandotte eggs of mixed colours including Crele, Partridge, pencilled (silver and lemon) and splash. They are set in my incubator and will hatch in about 18 days. It has been a very busy, but exciting time to say the least!