4H Poultry Judging: Classes A and B – Past Egg Production

4H Poultry Judging: Classes A and B – Past Egg Production


>>This is 4-H Poultry Judging:
Classes A and B – Past Egg Production>>First the student should become
familiar with the location of the parts of the chicken that
should be examined including the comb, beak, wattles, shoulder,
breast, keel bone, hock, toes, shanks, abdomen, vent,
pubic bones and the tail. All of which are shown
here in diagram form. As the hen ages and lays eggs,
she packages zanthrophil, a yellow pigment, in
the yolk of her eggs. This pigment, or color, is taken
from various parts of her body. In particular, these parts
are evaluated for bleaching: the vent, eye ring, ear lobe, beak,
bottom of foot, entire shank, hock and top of toes. First we’ll evaluate a bird with
excellent past production. Remove the bird from the cage
and look at the eye ring, ear lobe and beak
for bleaching. The comb and wattles should
be bright red and glossy. Next the vent should be
examined for bleaching. This bird has no
pigment on her vent. The vent of a bird that has
good production is bleached, moist, large and oblong. Next we evaluate the top
of the shanks of the bird. For a good performer they should
also be bleached through the hocks and the tops of the toes
and they should be thin and have a groove down the side. The bottom of the shanks
and the bottom of the feet should be bleached
as they are here. Next we locate the pubic
bones as shown here. Also, gently pinch the abdominal
skin to determine how fat she is. Good producers have more fat. By placing fingers
between the pubic bones and between the keel bone,
the bottom of the breast bone and the pubic bones, you can
determine her abdominal capacity. This bird has a pubic
spread of 2.5 fingers and a keel to pubic
spread of 3.5 fingers. She has had good past production. Next we check and count
the primary feathers on both sides of the bird
for signs of molt. The good producer shows
all old, worn feathers indicating that she has not molted. This bird has 10 primary feathers
with no signs of molting or new feathers coming in. This means that she has had
good production in the past. Next we look at a bird
with poor past production. This bird has a yellow eye ring
and a yellow beak indicating poor bleaching
and poor performance. She also has a shriveled comb instead
of a bright red, glossy comb like a good producer would have. Next we examine her vent
which has a yellow pigment, is small and more rounded
rather than oblong. These are signs of
a poor producer. Next we look at the tops
of the shanks and feet. They are thick,
yellow and unbleached meaning that she
is a poor producer. Looking at the backs of the shanks
and the bottom of the feet, they are also yellow in color. Next we locate the pubic bones. Gently pinching the
abdomen reveals that this bird is not fat
and is a poor producer. This bird has a pubic
spread of 1.5 fingers and a keel to pubic
spread of 2.5 fingers. She has had poor past production. Finally, we check and
count the primary feathers on both sides of the bird
for signs of molt. This is a poor producing hen because
she is exhibiting signs of molt. There are feathers missing and new
feathers growing in, as shown here. As with the first wing,
the bird is turned over and the primary feathers are counted. Here again we see evidence
of new feathers being formed. This indicates that she is molting or
has molted, and is a poor producer. © 2012 University of Georgia
College of Agricultural
and Environmental Sciences

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