Plucky passion

Justin Dickie
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16-year-old wins grand champion senior poultry championship at Cumberland County Ex

OXFORD - It takes a lot of work to get a chicken ready to show.

Just ask Nicky Baldwin.

Plucky passion

OXFORD - It takes a lot of work to get a chicken ready to show.

Just ask Nicky Baldwin.

"You start from when they're born," she said. "The best show birds are ones that you have from when they're raised because then you have control over their living environment, what they eat, how they're treated, and their general temperament."

Apparently it's time consuming.

The 16-year-old has been showing chickens in 4-H for five years. It's become a bit of a passion for her.

"I just love them and everything they do, all their quirks and getting to know them and the psychology of the breed," she said.

So what goes into showing a chicken?

"You generally use a rooster that is in perfect condition. You want a bird that's a good standard for its breed, that has a nice tail and it's nice looking," she said. "You want to make sure they have clean bedding, otherwise they'll be really, really, really dirty."

From there, no matter how clean the bedding is, they must be bathed for the show.

"People are like 'you wash your chickens?' Yes. You have to wash them," she said. "You have three to five different buckets of water. The first one is the only one that has soap and the rest are rinse buckets. Then the last one we put 'secret ingredients' into to cut out any left over stickiness from soap or shampoo."

Then when the exhibitors take their birds in for the show, it all comes down to how they work with the chicken.

"It's all about you. It's what you do. It's how well you handle the bird, how well you deal with it being unruly, how fast you are and how in control of the bird you are," she said.

Baldwin's passion for the practice has enabled her to best her competition, at least in this area. Tuesday she won grand champion senior poultry showmanship at the Cumberland County Exhibition.

"It was enjoyable. I was competing against a very tough competitor and whether I would win or not was very much in question," she said. "Being able to walk out of there with a championship ribbon put a big smile on my face."

She does it all for the love of the animal.

"When you can go out in the morning and you can see this flock of all these different kinds of breeds and they're all the different colours, and sizes, and shapes, and temperaments, you can say 'they're mine. I own them. I got them to where they are. I made them healthy, happy birds."

Organizations: Cumberland County Exhibition

Geographic location: Cumberland County, OXFORD

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Recent comments

  • Julie
    January 18, 2010 - 11:12

    Nice job, Nicky!! Congratulations.

  • Sasha
    January 18, 2010 - 11:04

    *dances* Go Nicky!! =D