There were four classes of the 2016 Fayette County Jr. Fair Poultry Showmanship Show that gave 4-H members an opportunity to showcase their finesse and knowledge with chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.
Jaycee Perry was named the overall chicken showman. The reserve chicken showman was Addyson Butts. In turkeys, the overall showman was Abby Riley and the reserve turkey showman was Drew Black. Drew Black was also named the overall duck showman. Dylan Page took the overall geese showman award.
In the Jr. Fair Poultry Breed Show, Drew Black was the overall grand champion for breeding birds. He was number one in the Bantam hens class. Dylan Page was number one in the Bantam roosters class. Jaycee Perry took first place in both standard hens and standard roosters.
Perry, who was awarded the overall chicken showman and first place in both standard hens and standard roosters, said he was excited to be a part of the poultry shows at the Fayette County Fair.
“It’s a hobby of mine,” said Perry.
He said his family lives on a farm. His mom had chickens, and that’s where, at a young age, his passion began.
“My mom is a really big inspiration. She wants me to stick with it. She’s really hands on,” said Perry.
In 2013 Perry said he was the grand champion market chickens and grand champion market turkeys, won chicken showmanship and turkey showmanship, as well as the breeding bird show.
This year, Perry brought a white Japanese Bantam. It’s his fourth year winning overall chicken showmanship.
“She knows what she’s supposed to do. She displays herself properly. She’s calm,” said Perry.
He contributes the success of his show style to knowledge and insight he has learned over the years from older exhibitors. He also said the younger exhibitors push him to do better and to set a good example.
“It doesn’t really matter how much you study because you can study all you want, but it’s not going to make a difference if you’re not passionate,” said Perry.
He said he’s always nervous before a show.
“I’m never calm really. It depends on the judge and how your bird wants to act that day,” said Perry.
He said learning different things and talking to older breeders made him want to continue showing chickens.
And he did stick with it over the years, and is the only person from his third grade class who showed chickens year after year until the end.
“A lot of times older breeders say they can tell I have a passion for it and I take care of my birds,” said Perry. “A breeder who has made a big difference in my breeding career is Tom Chandler, of Indiana.”
Perry said he met Chandler at a poultry show in Indiana, where he had brought his Bantams when he was doing a show in the fourth grade.
“He approached me and started talking to me about them,” said Perry. “He said if I ever needed to talk about Bantams to call him.”
Chandler became Perry’s mentor. Perry and his mom eventually drove to Indiana to spend a day talking about Bantams with Chandler.
“He has educated me. I still talk to him.We talk about how our birds are doing and how breeding is going along with them,” said Perry. In May, Perry had the opportunity to show against Chandler in a poultry show.
“He won,” said Perry, smiling. “It’s different showing against guys who have been doing this their whole lives. Tom’s in his 70s and he’s known as one of the best breeders in the world.”
Perry’s birds came from Chandlers bloodline and now Perry is breeding chickens. He just had 16 hatch last week.
“Mainly now I am breeding to try to perfect the breed that I show to continue showing at open shows,” said Perry.
Next week he will be at the Ohio State open show for poultry, and the week after that he will be at the junior show at the Ohio State fair for poultry.
“You meet new people, you learn new things everyday,” said Perry.
He said living in a small community helps.
“This year in general was my year to come give younger generations advice. I want to pass on the knowledge that older exhibitors told me and keep their kids involved,” said Perry.
A graduate of Miami Trace High School, Perry is now studying biochemistry at Ashland University. He said he’s thinking about transferring to Ohio State University to study in poultry science after his two years in biochemistry.
Next year, he will be back in Fayette County to watch the poultry shows and see how everybody’s birds look.
“This is one of the more competitive years for the younger generations. You can tell they all have a passion for it, they know their facts, and they spend a lot of time with their birds,” said Perry.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton