For the birds: Chicken costume contest offers friendly competition | Farm & Ranch

For the birds: Chicken costume contest offers friendly competition

This year’s seven chicken costume contest competitors prepare their chickens for display. While there were not as many contestants as in past years, there was still a great variety in the costumes.


Sisters Eden and Rowyn Wolf took home first place with their boa-clad hens in this year’s Chicken Costume Contest at the Scotts Bluff County Fair.

In front of dozens of their friends and parents, seven contestants showed off their birds’ various costumes and detailed the various talents the animals had, such as dancing, flying and acrobatics.

Organizer Becky Ulrich said the costume contest began in 2014 “because the sheep show for a couple years was getting done pretty early in the day and the kids had nothing to do in the afternoon. … We thought we’d give them something fun, so we did the chicken costume contest.”

The contest is open to any 4-Her, she added, as well as kids of any age from the general public. The contest is not exclusively reserved for chickens. Contestants can dress up as well and even share a theme with their fowl or other animal.

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Wolf sisters win chicken costume contest

Brett Brown brought his chicken Vicky in a homemade popcorn container, making her costume, literally, popcorn chicken.


“One time, we had a whole family that wore chicken costumes and carried their rabbits. … They didn’t even have chickens; they were the chickens,” event volunteer Laura Leggott said.

This time around, all eyes were on the actual animals. They remained calm and collected as their owners showed them off.

Brett Brown showcased his bird Vicky, the popcorn chicken; Madi Murphy dressed her rooster, Elvis, as an entertainer; Eden and Rowyn Wolf showcased their showgirl hens, Henrietta and Hazelnut.

Other contestants dressed their birds as fictional characters. Courtney Fitts dressed her Silkie Bantam chicken Cheetah as Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series, while Fletcher Fillingham and his chicken Bob were both dressed up as Batman. Griffin Fillingham dressed like a police officer and had his chicken, Chicken Noodle, adorned as a desperado.

Wolf sisters win chicken costume contest

The chicken costume contest is open to all 4-H members as well as children of any age. The chicken, contestant or both may be adorned in costumes.


“We came up with this idea today while we were eating Chinese food,” Eden Wolf told the Star-Herald about her costume. “Then we went to Hobby Lobby. I chose this dark boa — we were kind of going for a darkness/lightness kind of theme — and so we did the light bird as the dark bird and the dark bird as the light bird.”

The sisters had a message board at home and decided to add a little more flair to their showgirl theme. Their sign read, “Now showing at the Eggscalibur Hotel and Clucksino: The Eggcellent Chicks … No peeping!”

“We thought of the perfect sign. We just thought it would be cute,” Eden said.

The costume contest victory added to a successful day for the sisters, as Eden took home the grand champion ribbon for eggs and Rowyn won the reserve champion ribbon.

Wolf sisters win chicken costume contest

Chicken costume contestants pose with their birds and prizes after the conclusion of this year’s contest. Sisters Eden and Rowyn Wolf won first place for their boa-clad showgirls Henrietta and Hazelnut.


Murphy repurposed something practical to serve as her rooster Elvis’s costume.

“Originally, we got this because our hens were getting pecked on and their feathers were getting hurt and I found it in my closet one day and I decided to bring it,” she said.

As the first-place winners, the Wolf sisters won tickets to the fair’s Rubber Check Race on Saturday. Murphy, who placed second, won a pair of tickets to the Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull Wednesday evening.

Fletcher Fillingham won a jewelry box as the third-place prize — “which is ironic a little boy won it,” Ulrich said — and as the fourth-place winner, Fitts received a giant bag of chicken feed.


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