Heifers and chickens and rabbits, oh my! - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Heifers and chickens and rabbits, oh my!

By Jamey Boyum

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Heifers and chickens and rabbits, oh my! Okay, well, it was nothing to be scared of, really. It was the 35th annual Smith County Junior Livestock show at the East Texas Fairgrounds. Many of us city folk have no idea what goes on at one of these shindigs, so decided to find out.

I arrived at the Junior Livestock Show just in time for the chicken judging, so for time's sake we'll just stick to that. Those participating have raised the chickens for about ten weeks, and the judge makes them raise the birds a little longer, which is tough because those squawkers are heavy.

And that's just what Jeff Holland wants to see. He's also big on chicken squeezing, and he likes to re-arrange where people are standing. It looks a bit pushy, but Jeff's not being a bully, he's putting the best birds first.

Jeff Holland, a Market Show Judge said," What we're looking for is the width, mainly. The width and how that breast tapers off. And, the wider the bird is, of course the more meat it's going to exhibit. If the grocery store has chicken for 3.99 a pound, the leg doesn't bring that kind of money, but the breast does."

When the chickens are all around twelve pounds, it takes a while to find the best one.

Lauren Littlefield's arms are getting tired; something which is actually be a good thing. She's been feeding her clucker three bags of show chow a week, which, apparently, is a lot. The birds have all been squeezed so the judge and Superintendent have a quick conversation..and it's decided. Lauren has the best of the best. She wins a blue ribbon and her first Grand Champion belt buckle.

"Congratulations," I told her.

"Thank you,"  Lauren said.

"Okay, you can go put your bird down," I added.

These birds, by the way, are roasters..but don't tell them that. We don't want a chicken coup on our hands.

The chickens, and other grand champion animals like goats and rabbits, will be auctioned of this Saturday at the fairgrounds at six p.m.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly