by Jessica Cervantez
Forty-two East Texas students ranging from third graders to high schoolers spent their MOnday night showing their chickens.
For some, it was their first time.
Colton Strickland, a fifth grader from Huntington Intermediate School, said, "It's my first year, but I showed a lamb last year, and it wasn't very good. So, maybe I'll do better this year."
Everyone is hoping to be named Grand Champion. But, before that happens there's work that goes into taking care of these chickens. For six weeks, the birds have to be fed five or six times a day, for about five or ten minutes at a time.
Kayla Martin, a seventh grader at Lufkin Middle School, said, "Every morning we have to get up and change their water and give them fresh food, that's every day, night and day."
Judges are looking for certain criteria. Each set of chickens needs to be uniform in size. The closer they are the better their score.
Mike Whitten, who has been a 4H volunteer for many years, said, "Judges are looking for a choice cut of meat. On a chicken it's the breast, and they're looking for the widest, the longest, the most meatiest."
And, even those who didn't know anything about chickens, came to help out.
Brady Cook, an Stephen F. Austin State University student, said, "I'm definitely a city boy. I don't know the first thing about chickens. It's pretty cool and I kind of grown attached to this little guy."
The auction is held on Friday, and the Grand Champion pen is expected to go for about $15-hundred to $2-thousand.
Grand Champion Pen of Broilers-Brittany Richards, Lufkin FFA
Reserve Champion Pen of Broilers-Collin Richard, Central FFA
Champion Pullets-Collin Richard, Central FFA
Reserve Pullets-Emily Thompson, Diboll 4-H
Champion Roosters-Brittany Richards, Lufkin FFA
Reserve Roosters-Brooke Fenley Central High School