The purpose of a Breed Standard is to establish ideals for type, size and colour which are practical and useful, as well as symmetrical and attractive.  All breeds, whether bred chiefly for economic purposes or for beauty of colour and form, must be healthy and vigorous and of good productive qualities to insure full propagation, as well as popular acceptance of the breed.

The judge will walk down the line of birds he is going to judge taking in at a glance, the condition of a bird in regards to its type (confirmation and appearance), health, cleanliness and brightness of feathers, condition of combs, wattles, head parts, legs and feet, wry tails and the overall size of the bird.  He is also looking to be sure there are no “out of class” birds.  By this time he knows from an outward glance which birds are right for their breed and which are not.

The judge are now about to judge the first class and invariably hopes that the Category Winner will come from that class.  The just must give himself plenty of time to judge the first few classes, he will gain speed as time goes by.  He must get stuck with the job and treat it with utmost respect.



First comes appearance or type (confirmation and appearance). First of all everyone that breeds, raises and show chickens must have the breed standard. The breed standard, general defects and general disqualifications tell the breeder who exhibits and the judge what he should be looking for when he buys, breeds or judge a show bird.  It also tells the judges what they are to judge when they go to a poultry show to judge birds.  Most judges have to memorize the breed standards, general defects and general disqualifications in order to take exams and become a poultry judge. It is imperative that type and type be considered of greatest importance and specimens greatly deficient in breed type should be disqualified as lacking in breed character.Use a judging stick to let the bird perform, this will enable the judge to judge the outer appearance (type) of the bird.

Approximately 60% of the total value of the “Scale of Points” is allotted to type.



All judges judge to the Standards laid down in the Breed Standards.  In it each breed has a detailed description with points allocated for each feature required on the bird.  100 points are allocated to each breed of poultry, so in theory the Judge should just assess the bird for each feature laid down in the Standards and allocate points for each feature, add up the points and the bird with the highest total out of 100 would be the winner. 



When the words “broad” “medium,” “large,” “deep,” etc. are used in Breed Standard descriptions, these terms shall be understood to mean “relatively or comparatively” broad, medium, large or deep, that is, in proportion  to the size and character of the breed, described, as well as to the two sexes within the breed. 

Thus, “medium” as applied to the size of the comb of any Orpington male and female does not mean that both would be the same size, but that they would be proportionate to the body size of the male and female respectively. 



The vigor and health of a specimen is of prime importance and a necessity in the propagation and preservation of all breeds.  Judges shall not only consider the external appearance, but the actual body type and feathering thereof as well.



He is also looking to be sure there are no “out of class” birds.  By this time he knows from an outward glance which birds are right for their breed and which are not.



The judge will go to a cage and take each bird out that is of good type and start to judge. Each judge has their own system of doing this, but it should be remembered that all are judging against the Breed Standards for the breed.  The Judge compares each bird entered; the one most closely resembling the Breed Standard is the winner.



Some contend that judging is an art rather than a science.  Many scoring systems, the majority very elaborate, have been devised to standardize judges’ responses but, in the end, their evaluation on these individual points is still subjective.  Their views are coloured by their own interpretation of the Breed Standard and their experience.  Experience together with a good eye for stock and integrity are the requirements of a judge.  Experience can be gained over the years by breeding and by discussing the Breed Standard with other fanciers, for example.

Finally, the most important function of the judge is to see that the Breed Standards are maintained. Poultry Organizations draw the Breed Standards up and administers them, and the judge enforces them.




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