Exhibition Poultry Hobby & the APA

Black Tom Turkey bred by Christopher McCary

If you like beautiful, responsive animals, then the world of “Exhibition Poultry” may be what you have been looking for. Poultry comes in all sizes, shapes, colors and personalities. There are nearly 400 breeds and varieties of poultry that offer something for young and old alike

The term poultry includes large and small bantam chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowl. These domestic birds are an important part of the world’s commerce and industry as well as exhibiting them in a showroom. There are so many diverse forms and colors that they catch the vocational interest of an increasing number of people. The interest of people from all walks of life has been served for over one hundred years by the American Poultry Association, the oldest livestock organization in the United States. The program of our association is to appreciate the excellence and the systematic classification of the many breeds and varieties of poultry. Gaining a greater appreciation for and the enjoyment of breeding, raising and exhibiting exhibition poultry is a worthwhile social goal.

The best way to understand this intriguing exhibition poultry hobby is to visit some of the more than 1000 shows held annually, spring and fall, across the United States and Canada. See many of the different breeds and varieties of birds, meet the people and even follow up by visiting their homes and chicken coops. You’ll certainly see some interesting birds and equipment. From these people you’ll get valuable ideas and suggestions of where to go to see and learn more with the bonus of enjoying the company of fascinating people.

Membership in the American Poultry Association is a way to keep abreast of what’s happening in the Exhibition poultry hobby. Later, after you have settled on the breed you wish to raise and perhaps even show, you may even want to join the breed club promoting your breed.

As a member of the American Poultry Association you will receive our quarterly newsletter, the annual Yearbook and will have the opportunity to attend our Annual, Semi-Annual or District Meets. You’ll learn of our sanctioned shows and other events you’ll want to attend. All these activities encourage whole family participation and many special features are available for the younger members of the family. The APA sponsors the Youth Exhibition Poultry Assn, an educational program that is geared to youth exhibitors, ages 5–18. Many breed specific clubs also feature special breed meets at shows, produce a newsletter and have swap meets and special programs featuring their breed.

For some people owning and reproducing some of these elegant creatures is enough reward. But for others, the showroom is the focal point, the true measure of the exhibition poultry hobby’s rewards. The thrill of a win and the recognition of the effort by friends and other competitors is a gratifying experience. Each day is a new experience. Mating your birds to achieve a perfect specimen, setting of eggs and watching those chicks hatch makes this hobby an exciting venture. Finally, the competition in the showroom, whether it is a youngster in 4-H, in the Youth Exhibition Poultry Association or an “oldster” in retirement and all those in between, raising ornamental exhibition poultry is a relaxing hobby and is within the economic limits of most of us.

To find out more and learn about our wonderful world of exhibition poultry visit a show and enjoy your day talking with poultry breeders and enthusiasts. Seeing all the different breeds and varieties, talking with exhibitors is a fun adventure and guaranteed to keep you occupied for a few hours.

You can engage with the APA on facebook, Instagram and Youtube.  As a Member you will also get a chance to participate in our APA Official Facebook group which is a great place to chat with other members, get advice and mentorship.