Some real trophy chicks

Judge not, lest ye be judged! Posted by Hello

Browsing the news at my alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University, I see congratulations are in order for their Poultry Judging Team. I understand from a college news release that the team brought home a flock of individual and group awards from the 58th U.S. Poultry & Egg Association National Poultry Judging Contest in Baton Rouge, La.

I have to confess something. I never knew competitions existed for poultry judging, not to mention at the collegiate level. I wonder if the teams have cheerleaders and mascots dressed as chickens? And do you have highly recruited students sought for scholarships to such programs? And do those hotshot students get sports cars and hookers?

That is not to say I do not know about various other animal judging events, sheep, meat pen rabbits, bovines,etc. To know there are contests pitting fowl against fowl (and ones which do not involve bloodsport like cockfighting) doesn’t greatly surprise me.

It is all a matter of personal taste I suppose. Still, I cannot look objectively at a chicken to tell whether it is a good chicken or a bad chicken, (or not a chicken a’tall) unless it is wrapped in plastic and in the poultry section at my grocery store. I suppose a nearly naked chicken with sparse feathers and a glue-on beak might signal that this isn’t going to be the prize winner. I know that in judging other animals, a lot of the contest is about how the individuals show that particular animal such as a steer or lamb. I am no expert, although I did take care of a pen full of laying hens when I was a kid, but I find chickens to be about the least cooperative animal of which I know. You may have heard the saying about something being as difficult as getting kittens to march in a parade. Well, in my experience just trying to get a chicken to do anything willingly deserves a prize.

So my hat’s off to those poultry science students at my old schoool who took home contest honors. It makes me proud that I graduated from a really chicken outfit like SFA.

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