Grand Champion Chickens

Friday, October 6th 2006, 11:27 am
By: News On 6

Raising and showing a champion animal at the Tulsa State Fair takes a tremendous amount of work. That hard work paid off Friday at the Junior Livestock auction.

As News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, two brothers from western Oklahoma are now reaping the rewards of their efforts.

Backstage at the Junior Livestock auction, Layne and Logan Merriweather and their mom are getting their champion chickens ready for the auction. A little hair spray and some glitter. Layne Merriweather: "You gotta go out there and take care of them and check on them alot."

I was trying to find out how you raise champion chickens and the Merriweather boys know how. Layne who is 13 had the grand champions two years ago. His little brother 9 year old Logan has them this year. Layne: "This game is all about getting the most food down their throats and getting the biggest breasted bird there is."

They've got this thing figured out, Logan with the Grand Champion, Layne with the Reserve. You start out with 75 chicks; you keep feeding them and culling them out until you have the three best.

Your top three chickens get judged and auctioned as a unit. Actually, the auctioneer was just getting started. Logan's three champions sold for $10,000. Layne's Reserve Champions sold for $3,000.

So now what? Layne: "We said if we pulled off this Grand and Reserve Grand, since we're the first people to do it, we can't do these chickens any more." So they are retiring from chicken competition with a total of $13,000. That, if you'll pardon me, isn’t chicken feed.

The Grand Champion steer, which is always the first animal auctioned off, and the one that brings the highest price, was raised by Dakota Moyers from Newcastle, and sold for $34,000.