Winners of the barnyard judging Thursday at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair ranged in age from teenagers to adults and were all from Roswell.
ENMSF Board President Larry Hobson, who judged the poultry contest, said he was looking for “the bird that was better-feathered.”
Adult entrant Lea Randuea’s Cochin Cock won Grand Champion. The cock was described as looking like a painted chicken salt and pepper [auth] shaker.
Grand Reserve went to an Americana Hen raised by adult entrant Wayne Nordquist. Nordquist also received an honorable mention for another of his hens.
The barnyard contest is different from other livestock competitions at the fair in that it is open to entrants of all ages and is not a 4-H and FFA competition. It is a more casual competition and Poultry Superintendent Susan Hickman said that many entries are the pets of contestants.
Entry costs $9 per bird, and each contestant is permitted to submit three birds. Proceeds go toward the fair’s 4-H and FFA contests.
Hickman said that the barnyard judging is meant to increase interest in 4-H and FFA.
In addition to grand champions, the contest produces a champion crower. The title goes to whichever cock crows the highest number of times in five minutes.
Teenaged chicken-owner Makayla Bragg won the contest for her Cochin Cross.
“Her little rooster is the one that crows the most,” said Hickman.
A final honorable mention went to an American Golden Duckwing Pullet raised by adult entrant Wayne Peterson.
Hickman said that Peterson offers to donate his birds to 4-H and FFA members each year.