Beef is king (or queen) I suppose of the Lucas County fair --- there will be four classes of judging on Wednesday. But I'm passionate about poultry, so Monday morning's judging in that category was more to my taste.
The first person I ran into at the poultry barn, awaiting her turn with the judge, was Briley Atwell of the Russell Reivers 4-H Club --- or rather her granddad, Richard. The whole Atwell family was there to cheer on Briley and her birds.
Years ago, I started growing up just down the road from a lovely couple named Clara and Merrill Atwell. Briley is their great-granddaughter. How's that for continuity?
The birds shown here are of the Welsummer breed. They won blue ribbons and Briley herself, a showmanship award. She knows a lot about her birds and, among other things, was able to tell the judge when he asked how she could be certain that the eggs produced by her pen of three would be brown.
Here's the judge a little farther down the line working his way toward Briley.
And a whole bunch of other birds that I fancied. I wish I could tell you who won the top prizes, but the barn was too busy at the time to absorb that information. There were lots of entries this year, each as far as I'm concerned of championship quality.
There's more to poultry than chickens and I was quite taken by these two bobwhite quail entered by Grant Goering of the Liberty Flyers.
There were pigeons, too. This fine Homer was entered by Ruthie Storey, also of the Russell Reivers.
Here's an African Fantail entered by J.R. McDonough of the Shooting Stars.
Ruthie dominated the category that quacked.
Here's her Mallard hen and pen of three.
And a fine Muscovy.
These are a few other birds that caught my attention, including Zeb DeZwarte's (Chariton FFA) Americana rooster.
I don't think this Leghorn rooster won an award, but I liked him anyway. He did keep falling asleep, but I'm not sure the judge took that into consideration.
How could you not love a turkey with a face like this?
A fine layer, but I'm not going to venture a guess on the breed.
One of the happiest birds at the fair, a Silver Spangled Hamburg.
I think this is one of Madallyn Gunzenhauser's prize-winning Red Stars, but am not exactly sure about that. Madallyn is a member of the Derby Blue Ribbon Winners --- and she won several.
This is Evan Langford's (Derby Blue Ribbon Winners) mixed-breed rooster: Buff Orpington and Crele Old English.
It was a great day at the fair --- vegetables and flowers another day. Here's lookin atcha ...