CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon Fryer Commission's ninth annual Youth Pen of Fryers Contest will be held on Saturday, June 9, at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall. Oregon youth under 20 years of age (as of June 9) are eligible to participate in the statewide competition.

Each contestant must register by March 26, to compete in the contest, said James Hermes, a poultry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. The entry fee for the contest is $10.

Contestants will be required to pick up their 15 Cornish cross chicks on April 21, at the OSU campus in Corvallis.

Only chicks provided specifically for the contest will be accepted for judging, said Hermes. Information about raising the chickens will be provided. Contestants will be required to grow their broilers for seven weeks. They will bring the best three from their flock to the Polk County Fairgrounds for judging on June 9 as a "pen of fryers."

Birds will be judged on body weight, uniformity, defects, cleanliness, feathering and vigor, according to Hermes. Judges will be poultry sciences students in the Department of Animal Sciences at OSU.

Prizes will include a total purse of about $3,300 in savings bonds, as well as medals, rosettes and ribbons for contestants through the top 10 pullets and cockerels. The top three pens will receive medals and prize money of $500, $300, and $200, respectively. Prize money for the top three pens in three age classes will be $100, $75, and $50.

The annual Oregon Poultry Olympics, a series of games and activities for contestants, will be held during the judging and scoring. The Oregon Fryer Commission will provide a barbecued chicken lunch for contestants and their families.

For information about the contest and to receive a registration form contact Hermes at 541-737-2254, or by e-mail at Information and registration material are available on the Web at:

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James Hermes,