Poultry industry announces annual youth contest

December 17, 2004

CORVALLIS - The Oregon Fryer Commission's eighth annual Youth Pen of Fryers Contest will be held May 21 at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall. Oregon youth under 20 years of age as of May 21 are eligible to participate in the statewide competition.

Each contestant must register by Jan. 15 to compete in the layer contest and by March 15 for the broiler and project contest, said James Hermes, a poultry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. The entry fee for the contest is $5.

For the layer competition, contestants or their representatives will be able to pick up 10 brown egg laying chicks on Saturday, Jan. 29, said Hermes. For the broiler competition, contestants will be able to pick up 15 Cornish cross chicks on April 9.

In both cases, chicks to be used in the contest will be available at Dryden Hall on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

Only chicks provided for the contest will be accepted for judging, said Hermes. Information about raising the chickens will be provided. Contestants will be required to grow the layers for 16 weeks and the broilers for six weeks. They will bring the best three from their flock to the Polk County Fairgrounds for judging on May 21 as a "pen of layers or pen of fryers."

Birds will be judged on body weight, uniformity, defects, cleanliness, feathering and vigor. Judges will be members of the poultry industry and OSU poultry students or faculty. If contestants do not want to raise birds, Hermes noted, they may register for a chicken project category of the contest.

Prizes will include a total purse of $6,700 in savings bonds, as well as medals, rosettes and ribbons for contestants through the top 10 in each category. The top three pens will receive medals and prize money of $500, $300, and $200, respectively. Prize money for the top three pens in three age classes will be $100, $75, and $50.

The annual Oregon Poultry Olympics, a series of games and activities for contestants, will be held during the judging and scoring. The Oregon Fryer Commission and the Northwest Poultry Council will provide a barbecued chicken lunch for contestants and their families.

For information about the contest and to receive a registration form contact Hermes. Phone: 541/737-2254. E-mail: James.Hermes@oregonstate.edu. Information about the contest is available on the Web at: http://www.orst.edu/dept/animal-sciences/ofccon.htm.

Author: Andy Duncan
Source: James Hermes