From curly leg feathers to silky topknots, chickens at the annual poultry show March 19 will feature more unusual traits than most people can imagine.
There will be about 50 breeds represented, and about 800 birds at the annual show which is set to open at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Thomson Lions Club Fairgrounds. There is no admission charge.
About 150 poultry enthusiasts plan to enter birds this year, said Debbie Lokey, who helps coordinate the event with her husband John.
The poultry show has offered people of McDuffie County and the CSRA an interesting look at a unique activity for more than four decades. Started 42 years ago by Mr. Lokey's father, the show has been a McDuffie County tradition ever since.
Mrs. Lokey has been helping with the show since their marriage 35 years ago, and "It has always been a fun, family event.
"It's been a tradition. We have met so many friends over the years," said Mrs. Lokey whose husband shows dark brown Leghorns.
"Everyone laughs when they hear chicken show, but it is really something," Mrs. Lokey said.
People who participate in poultry shows take the activity seriously, lavishing time, affection and worry on their feathered friends.
"They breed them, they spend money on them -- they're show chickens," Mrs. Lokey said.
Three certified judges will critique the entries and award cash prizes to adults and trophies to winners in the junior division.
"A lot of parents who show have children who enjoy it, too," Mrs. Lokey said.
The event is well worth a visit, said Carolyn Gilbert, Thomson McDuffie Chamber of Commerce director who attended her first poultry show last year.
"The show is a lot of fun. I want to go again this year. It's the most interesting thing to see," she said.
The show attracts participants from all over the southeastern United States who enjoy sharing their interest and knowledge with visitors.
"It's a big draw," she said.