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With more than 76.5 billion eggs consumed in the U.S. each year, you might be thinking of a career in the poultry industry. We know that judging contests help kids improve their decision-making skills and teaches them to defend those decisions by giving voice to their reasoning. Poultry judging teaches standards of poultry and egg production to ensure a safe and nutritious consumer product. Learn what makes a good egg as you compete for prizes in the Illinois 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest. 

LEARN MORE to be a successful 4-H poultry judge.

Want to learn more about the Egg Industry? Check out this COOL WEBSITE.

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2017 State Poultry Judging Contest

The 2017 State Poultry Judging Contest will be held Thursday, August 8 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. All youth are encouraged to attend. There is no cost to attend. Youth who were 8 to 13 years of age on January 1, 2017 compete as juniors. Youth 14 to 18 years of age on January 1, 2017 compete as seniors. Counties may organize teams of three or four members, or youth may compete as individuals. The top individuals will be invited to compete as the Illinois team at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in November.

Contest Classes

A. Classes A, B, C, and RC -- Egg Production and Reasons: POSSIBLE 400

Class RC represents the Reasons portion of the contest, which are given on Class  C.  Three classes of four (4) Leghorns or Leghorn type hybrids are to be judged on past production qualities. Hens may be handled.  Contestants are not allowed to move or bend the hen’s pubic bones. The contestant can touch and place your fingers on each side of the pubic bones.  But, you are not to try to move the pubic bones. Flexibility of the pubic bone is no longer to be considered a factor in placing the class. Contestants may NOT compare hens with others in their group. The hen that has laid the most eggs to date should be placed FIRST; the next highest, SECOND; the next THIRD; and poorest layer, FOURTH. This is placing by comparison. Contestants will give oral reasons on Class C. Using notes while giving reasons will NOT be permitted. A maximum of two minutes will be allowed for giving reasons for each class.

B. Classes E and F -- Meat Quality – Ready-To-Cook Birds: POSSIBLE 200

This group (Classes E and F) include two classes of eight (8) ready-to-cook broilers. Each individual bird will be classified as A, B, or C. Carcasses will be displayed on a table.  Birds may NOT be touched or handled. Pinfeathers, diminutive feathers, hairs, and discoloration are to be disregarded.

C. Class I -- Broken-Out Market Eggs: POSSIBLE100

One class of 10 eggs will be broken out on a flat surface.  Each egg is to be classified AA, A, B, or Inedible. Eggs and containers CANNOT be touched or handled.

D. Classes J and K -- Market Eggs -- Candled: POSSIBLE200

Two classes of 20 white shelled eggs each are to be candled individually and classified AA, A, B, or Inedible. The Speed-King Candler will be used for candling eggs. Eggs MUST be handled.

E. Classes L and M -- Exterior Egg Quality: POSSIBLE200

Two classes of 20 white shelled eggs to be individually classified A, B, or Dirty.  Eggs CANNOT be handled.

Total: 1,100

Contact for More Information:

U of I Animal Science Educator
Dan Jennings
U of I Extension Poultry Specialist
Ken Koelkebeck
Photo of Chicken

Event Information

Aug 10, 2017
Illinois State Fairgrounds