FARMINGTON — Ducking out of the rain Saturday morning and into the Poultry Show barn at the Farmington Fair wasn't a good idea.
Unless one was hard of hearing or wore earplugs, as the din from about 375 chickens, ducks and geese all talking and crowing seemingly out-blasted a rock concert.
But for poultry official Mike Turner of Jay, there was nothing foul about the colorful cacophony.
"They crow all day," said Turner, who has raised birds most of his life since before high school. "Normally, they just do it in the morning, but they're in amongst all these other birds and one crows, so they all crow."
Aside from all the caterwauling cockerels and riled roosters, the geese, especially the white and brown Chinese geese, practically yelled for attention.
"The geese, they just talk all the time," Turner said. "Somebody walks through and they talk."
That was quite evident when 3-year-old Hadley Casey, her sister, Piper Casey, 5, mom Hilary Casey, and their friend, Bree Griffin, 5, all of Wilton, walked along the goose section.
While the geese pressed forward in their cages, all clamoring at once, the children delighted in the attention, but were careful not to get their fingers within nipping range.
Like there has been in past years, a Youth Poultry Show was scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, the last day of the fair. However, no children entered their show fowl for the event, Turner said.
So all of the show birds, which included 184 bantams, 104 standard fowl, 45 ducks, 22 call ducks, and 18 or 19 pigeons, had already been judged Monday in the fifth annual show.
Many of the birds scored high, including a group of Cochins, also known as Cochin China chickens, and a beautiful Rhode Island red pullet that won every category.
"These Cochins are some nice birds," Turner said. "They'll do good all over the East Coast."
He said the Rhode Island red won Best Bird, Best of Variety, Best American, Best Large Fowl, and Best of Show and paid about $80 to its owner, Martin Lane of New Vineyard.
Another bird, a black Cochin bantam owned by Bob Hawes of Hampden won all of the same categories except Best of Show, Turner said.
"There's some serious breeders here," he said.