On April 30, 44 entrants brought 186 birds to the inaugural Feathers, Friends and Fun Poultry Show held by the Sun Valley Poultry Club at Rainbow Valley Grange hall in Rainbow. Participants of all ages came from Fallbrook, Murrieta, Valley Center and as far away as Alpine, Apple Valley and Hacienda Heights, among other places.
Several species and breeds of poultry were exhibited, with classes for bantam (small) chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, geese, ducks, and large fowl. Donita Blalock, a licensed American Poultry Association (APA) and American Bantam Association (ABA) judge from El Cajon, served as judge for both the Open and Youth birds.
The event started with the Primary class of 5 to 8 year olds in the Youth division, mostly 4-H members who are too young to enter their county fairs. The Primary exhibitors practiced showmanship with the guidance of Genevieve Mason (Captain of California Avian Bowl Team 2011, past President of Fallbrook 4-H 2012-13, and California 4-H Ambassador 2013-14), who also conducted the Knowledge Bowl for the older Youth, (Junior 8-11, Intermediate 12-14, Senior 15-17).
Ribbons were awarded for the Best and Reserve (second best) entries in each class. Among the winners were Abby Schober (publicist, Fallbrook 4-H), Best in Show Youth, with her Crele Old English Bantam, and Lindley Mason (co-president Fallbrook 4-H), Reserve Feather Legged Bantam Open (Adult), with her White Bearded Silkie.
In Showmanship, judged by Lakeside 4-H poultry leader Christian Diaz, Abby Shober was first and Erica Nash, (junior leader, Fallbrook 4-H Poultry Project), second, both in 4-H Intermediate.
Organizers said the purpose of this APA and ABA sanctioned show was to promote small farms, small agricultural related businesses and the fun of raising exhibition poultry.
A raffle of assorted poultry supplies was held for the poultry club. Grange members sold breakfast, lunch and snacks as a fundraiser for the two awards the grange donates to youth contests at the San Diego County Fair as well as for the Dictionary Project to fund dictionaries for local students.
Rainbow Valley Grange will be holding a backyard chicken workshop and a goat workshop on Saturday, May 21. The chicken workshop, given by Dora Friedli, will run from 10 a.m. to noon with the goat workshop, given by Bernadette Faust, going from 1 to 3 p.m. Both ladies are longtime 4-H leaders in Ramona, and grange members. Lunch and snacks will be available for a donation.
Anyone who wants to know how to raise their own chickens for eggs or meat or goats for milk or meat, or as pets, are welcome to attend. There is no fee for the workshops but registration is appreciated. Email email@example.com. For more information on the Sun Valley Poultry Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.