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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:40 am 
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Photos and tips from Lawnton Poultry Club's Workshop on Show Preparation - 13 April 2014

Demonstrators - David Simons, Albert Freeman

Some of the equipment used today for cleaning. Firstly a chamois for drying the birds, a towel to wrap the birds, bluo rinse to enhance the white, wool wash to use as a detergent and Protecta Pink for washing the legs.

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The first stage of cleaning a bird for show was trimming the head and cleaning the legs. Firstly the legs were dunked in warm soapy water with wool wash as the detergent. The temperature was similar to that suitable for washing a baby.

This is the water in the far right bucket. In the centre bucket is warm water for rinsing. In the left bucket is warm water with a capful of bluo used to enhance the white in any white feathered birds. Too much bluo will cause feathers to have a purplish tinge.

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The damp legs were then covered in pink hand cleaning lotion which was rubbed in to soften any dirt under the scales. This needs to soak in for 2- 3 minutes. While it is soaking in, the small feathers on the face of the bird especially on either side of the comb can be trimmed to neaten the appearance.

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You can see how the cleaner is worked under the scales using the thumb and thumb nail. Notice how the bird is being held so as to make the bird feel safe and well supported at the same time giving good access to the legs.

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The next few photos are a good example of how the face is trimmed either side of the comb. Only pin feathers should be trimmed.

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If you do the head and legs prior to washing you are holding a dry bird. Once this has been completed you can then move onto washing the rest of the bird.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:53 am 
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Leg cleaning.

With this leghorn the legs need some extra treatment. The first stage with this bird was to lightly rub over the legs with 600 grit wet and dry to smooth any rough edges on the scales. Then, as with the previous bird, the legs were dunked in the wool wash and then Protecta pink hand cleaner was applied and worked in to each leg. While waiting for it to soak in, toe nails were trimmed with nail clippers and then filed with a nail sanding board. Be careful not to cut too much of the nail as it is easy to make them bleed.

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With some birds the dirt is persistent and extra help is required to remove the stubborn dirt.

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One useful way of removing this dirt is to use the eye end of a small needle pushed into a bottle cork. This can easily get under and between the scales without pricking the soft flesh of the bird.

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A final touch up with an emery stick tidies up nails.

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Once the legs have been rinsed, a small amount of linseed oil is applied to each leg. This improves the shine and helps keep the legs clean until show day.

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The end result lovely clean, smooth, shiny legs, better than a day at the podiatrist.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:54 am 
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Beak clipping and filing.

Some birds require their beaks to be clipped and or filed. The upper beak only should be inspected and trimmed as required. In this bird it was trimmed straight across the end and then the two sharp corners were clipped. Any jagged edges on the beak should be removed.

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Once clipped, the sharp edges were filed smooth with an emery board.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:58 am 
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When washing your bird, make sure the water is not too hot or cold. Some pekins can become stressed, so ensure they don't start panting and are always supported so that they remain calm. You may need to hold the head up when dunking them. You don't want the head to go under the water. Start by using the wool wash washing water. If washing water fowl, no detergents should be added to the water.

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Once all the feathers are wet you can examine the bird for areas that may be particularly stained or dirty. These may require extra cleaning. In this case concentrated cleaner is applied via the spray bottle to the stained areas and rubbed into the dirty portions of the feathers always going with the grain or direction of the feathers taking care not to damage the feathers in any way.

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The bird is then rinsed in the rinsing water and examined. If there are persistent dirty spots they may need to be rewashed. You will observe yellow staining on this bird when it is wet. Do not be put off by this as staining appears much worse in a wet bird. Mild yellowing will disappear when the bird is dried off.

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Some of the natural oils will have been stripped from the feathers. Washing should be done at least three days prior to the show to give the natural bloom of the feathers time to return.

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Once the washing and rewashing has been completed give the bird a thorough rinse off and then give the bird a final rinse in the bluo wash (if it's a white fowl.)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 am 
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Once the bird has been rinsed, remove any excess water from the feathers by squeezing them out with your hand. Then use the chamois to dry the bird as much as possible. When all the excess water has been removed, begin hair drying using a circular motion taking care not to burn the bird. Use on mild heat with maximum airflow.

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Blow drying a frizzle is slightly different from other birds in that you want the feathers to stand up and bend forward. Blowing the dryer against the feather direction enhances this. It is probably more important to follow the direction of the feathers with other birds. Lift up the feathers with your fingers to get the air into the down and dry the areas under the wings particularly well.

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Frizzles and silkies need to be dried completely. Some other breeds such as pekins, leghorns and sussex should only be partially dried to avoid the under fluff being too bulky.

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You can see from the final picture that the yellowing evident in the wet bird has disappeared and a clean white frizzle ready for showing is the end result.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Thanks Ben,
Some great tips there.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:03 pm 
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That's really great Ben. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:33 pm 
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The White Frizzle hen looks even better the next day (ie today) after she has completely dried and the feathers are sitting right. I will try and get a photo of her in the next couple of days to post here before she has a chance to get dirty again.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:59 pm 
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Ta da!! Here she is all dry and fluffy, with nice crisp curl!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Nearly turned me to the Frizzle side David :laughing Lovely!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Incredibly helpful pics and instructions - thanks!!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:20 pm 
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This is an excellent tutorial.

Thank you so much for putting in the effort to do it. I've never shown a chook before but I'd feel confident in having a go at getting one ready now that I have read that.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:07 am 
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This an excellent tutorial, thanks Ben for the in depth commentary and photos , hoping to have my first go at showing in June so a very handy post to read :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:30 am 
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To answer some questions emailed in:

Quote:
Do u happen to know what grade wet n dry sandpaper the guy who did the leg cleaning talk uses? if not, wot's the best way to contact him.

Sandpaper was 800 grit wet 'n' dry. It can be purchased from Bunnings or any hardware store for about $2 a sheet. The presenters name was Albert but he doesn't have a public phone number.

Quote:
Was David's secret ingredient for cleaning legs septone protecta pink? and where to I buy it?

Protecta Pink is available from Supa Cheap but it would probably be available from any automative store. It is a heavy duty hand cleaner. It wasn't expensive at all.

In addition - not covered on that day - but Sard Wonder Soap stain remover spray in the Eucalyptus type also works wonders for cleaning both dirty feathers and legs. The tiny amount of eucalyptus in it doesn't worry the birds at all.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 12:53 pm 
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Thanks heaps Cathy. And as an aside, the site has really matured and improved in look n feel since I last logged on. I might yet have to ditch fb and come back :)

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