When I was five years old, my family purchased our first three chickens. What we did not know at the time, was that chickens are the gateway animal to lifelong livestock endeavors. Since purchasing those first few chickens, we've expanded to dairy goats, horses, plus the menagerie of market animals we've raised over the years. Through it all, we've always had chickens. My latest adventure into the show chicken world, began with some hatching eggs that we bought online. From those eggs, I hatched out my first Jersey Giants. This is where the story begins.
In 2018, I attended my first in-cage poultry show where I showed a young pair of black Jersey Giants. At the time, I knew nothing about Jersey Giants. I figured we would just go to the show to see what would happen. I got my birds washed and packed them up in the car to head to Modesto, California. After we got there and I cooped-in, a woman came up to me and sparked a conversation about my birds. It turns out, my Jersey Giants were hatchery quality birds. The women's name was Sher, and she took me in at that show. She showed me all the basics of in-cage showing with my little hatchery birds. After just meeting Sher, she invited us to have dinner back at her hotel room with the rest of the group. (I don't recommend having dinner with strangers in their hotel rooms, but fortunately it was a wonderful evening.) That night, Sher offered me a sponsorship through West Coast Jersey Giants. This would give me three high quality Jersey Giant pullets, and Sher's mentorship. Over the past couple years, we've encountered speed bumps in my Jersey Giant journey, but I've gotten over those bumps in the road and raised as well as shown some truly great Jersey Giants. I've been lucky enough to be able to bring every little bit of knowledge back to my Gold County 4-H Club, and back to my livestock community.
The best recommendations I have for getting started showing something new, is to go find a mentor and don't be afraid to look dumb! Almost any breeder or showman out there, regardless of species, would love to help answer questions and help foster the next generation of breeders and showmen. Go out there, find a breeder or showman you admire, and ask questions! What's the worst that could happen!/span>