As a steward during judging you are a very important part of the team that makes the show happen. A first class way to gain invaluable experience is to act as a steward for judges as often as possible. Not every judge likes to give a running commentary on his task as he carries it out, but the majority are willing to help and will quite often treat their steward as a junior partner.  The thing to do is wait for the judge to set the pace, as it is well to remember that he is engaged in an exacting task.



At poultry shows anyone can, and is very welcome to ‘steward’ the birds with the Judge.  Judging cannot take place without stewards to get the birds from their pens, for the Judges and to return them to their pens once the Judge has assessed them. So Fanciers volunteer for the job.

Whatever the reason that you steward you can be sure that it is a highly rewarding way of spending the day; there will invariably be friendly banter between stewards and the Judge and you will pick up the Judge’s comments on the birds as he assesses them. 



Any Fancier undertaking stewarding duties should wear a clean coat and conduct themselves in a responsible and acceptable manner at all times.  This may sound a bit heavy handed but our poultry shows are open to the public and any member of the public observing the proceedings looks on the stewards as part of the ‘official’ set up of the show.



Thus all stewards are, in the eyes of the public, representatives of Poultry Organizations and their conduct reflect directly on our hobby / sport as a whole.  This includes bad language that should not be used in the show hall under any circumstances. Certainly ask a steward to leave the show hall when judging because of his bad language. 

With the current downward trend in the membership of poultry exhibitors the last thing any of us should be doing is putting potential newcomers of by unacceptable behavior.



The steward with his or her clean white coat should report to the Judge at the start of judging and will work under the direction of the Judge throughout the period of judging.

Other Fanciers: At the pen the steward can be presented with a variety of situations that they must be ready to cope with.  Firstly if there are other Fanciers or even members of the public standing around the pens then the steward must, in as polite a way as possible ask them to move so that he can get the bird out of the pen.

Removing the Bird: Use the correct procedure to remove the bird from its pen. The judge can assist the steward by teaching him the correct procedure. Most birds are well behaved, are used to being shown and will therefore present the steward with few problems; however, some can cower nervously in the back of the pen whilst another may be vicious and intend on picking the hand that is trying to grab it. Extreme care must be taken as you extract the bird from the pen.

Remove the bird from its pen. Always remove bird head first with one hand over the back, and the other hand under the body, with your fingers around the legs. This prevents the bird from struggling to get away and act overly excited. Keep the bird to the upright position and hand to the judge for assessment. You always do this head first.

Comments: On no account should a steward pass comment on the qualities or lack of them in any exhibit.  Whilst you may think you are doing very quietly to someone else, under no circumstances should your comment be heard by the Judge.  It is the Judge’s job to find the faults and the merits in an exhibit and if he misses something that you have clearly seen then that is his problem, it is his opinion that exhibitors have entered the show for and not the opinions of a steward.  Even if you believe an exhibit to have been in the wrong colour class it is not your job as a steward to point it out to the Judge.

Handling: You may handle some of the birds in the show, even the very best, from which you will soon learn what makes a winner and you will probably handle some pretty poor specimens, from which you will learn the standard of poultry that just is not acceptable for showing.

Returning the Bird: When the Judge has completed his assessment of a bird the steward will be asked to return it to his pen.  The same care should be exercised when returning the bird as was when it was took out from the pen.


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