American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

AFRMA Show Overview

By Karen Robbins

This is a walk through on what we have at our shows. Some of these you can see in photos of past shows.

  1. We have the large signs outside the building entrance door and on the fence at the Woodcrest Community Center announcing our show Rat & Mouse Show Today Come In! There are also signs at the entrance door: Check In, Health Check, No Alcohol, and AFRMA Rat/Mouse Sales.
  2. First table inside has the large signs Attention Exhibitors and Stop. We put another Check In sign on top of the Attention Exhibitors, the Welcome To The Show sign on the table along with a sign in sheet for exhibitors/visitors and name tags for them to fill out and put on, as well as a No Touch sign. On the wall inside the door we put another AFRMA Rat/Mouse Sales sign and a Health Check sign if doing health checks inside.

    No Touch signs are placed around the room on tables and on the walls.

    We also use this table in the morning for exhibitor check-in so have the large Show Secretary sign out while we are checking everyone in. There are aspen shavings there for the show boxes and for exhibitors that need fresh bedding for their cages.

    This table is also used for sales animals after morning check-in with the large Seller’s Guidelines sign and Attention Buyers signs.

  3. In the morning we do health checking (HC) outside under a tent one of our members brings if we have a lot of exhibitors and the weather is good. Otherwise the check-in table is used as a health checking station in the morning with a sign for that.

    We used colored dots for each cage: yellow OK, Blue not OK and can’t be shown/sold (the health checker dates and initials the stickers; on the blue one they also put what was wrong [scabs, resp., etc.] and tell owner problem and treatment). If any get blue dots, they are put behind the club sales items table and the owner can get them when they leave at the end of the day.

    There is a scale for weighing animals if needed for HC or judging (small postage scale works good and some kind of container to confine the animal while on the scale).

  4. Info Table: On another table at the entrance is our flyers, brochures, the basic picture posters (small informative posters found at under More Educational Posters): Tumors in Rats, Bloody Nose or Eyes in Rats, Sneezing Rats, FAT Rats!, My rat has scabs on its neck, and Six Weeks and Pregnant?!, a sign-up sheet Mailing List For Next Show on a clipboard with pen attached, coloring pages for the kids with crayons (crayons to be used there; pages to be used at the Craft Table or to take home), sample jars of bedding and food, and a donation jar.
  5. In the Info area we also have the show box cleaning and return rent boxes station with spray bottle (nolvasan mix) and paper towels (PT). We have a spray bottle for the HC/show box cleaning and one for each judging table.
  6. Photos: A small table is set up for taking the winners photos, usually in the kitchen out of the way. This comprises of backboards (metal stands we used to use to put sales magnets on) to put the towels on as a backdrop, a small box to go underneath the towel to keep the animal in one spot while taking the photo, a plastic thin cutting board to go on top that can be sprayed down after each exhibitor. We have the prize bags (dog biscuits) and awards there. Trophies are on a table in the room so everyone can see them.

    We have photo albums from past shows the visitors and exhibitors can browse through (on the table with the trophies/awards for the show). Photos from past shows are available for purchase by the exhibitors of their show winners.

  7. Judging Tables: We have one table for each judge with the sign on the wall Rat Judging Table Mouse Judging Table Pet Judging Table. There is a Judging Order sheet posted for each type of table. Some shows the rats and mice are judged at the same table under one judge.

    We normally call up all animals to each table so there is an uninterrupted flow of judging.

    The Rat Race and Curious Rat pet classes are judged after the classes using show boxes for the animals.

    Clerks/Stewards: Each table gets a clipboard and pen, copy of the Exhibitor List, Show Winners page(s) for their table, set of stars, basic placement ribbons/awards, and judging cards. The clerk/steward is to answer any questions the public may ask in between judging. Our shows are small enough we have just one person doing both clerk and steward.

    The clerk writes the comments from the judge onto the cards, places the stars on the cards, and fills in the Show Winners page during the show.

    Stars: We use star stickers to mark the judging cards of wins/placements—gold Best, blue First, red Second, silver Third, green Fourth. Every time an animal gets Best something it gets a gold star so if an animal wins Best Self, Best Variety, it gets 2 gold stars, if it also wins BIS it gets another gold star. If an animal is first in its class then gets Best AOV, it gets one gold star.

    Name badges are worn by all the show helpers and officials.

  8. Craft Table: Our Youth Rep. is in charge of the craft table and brings things for the kids to make and do. Sign on the wall for that. The kids can take the coloring pages and color them there. Activities can range from tic-tac-toe, coloring, paper crafts, make beaded items, etc.
  9. Sales Animals Table: Once HC is over and everyone checked in, we have the sales animals brought up and put on the table (sales to be only done inside). Owner is to provide their own spray and PT for potential buyers.

    Each member is given a sales sticker to put with each cage or group of items (used cages, etc.).

  10. Booth Space: We offer booth spaces at the shows for members/non-members selling products they make or distribute, e.g. hammocks, soaps, crafts, new cages, etc. We provide a table if they are available.
  11. AFRMA Sales Items Tables: To help cover the costs of putting on a show we have various items for sale: used/new equipment/cages, lab blocks food for the animals, AFRMA publications, various items such as book marks, note cards, stationery, craft items, bumper stickers, magnets, water, etc.

    We have the AFRMA Rat, Mouse, and Sexing 101 posters around the room (these must be pre-ordered).

  12. Exhibitor Tables: These are all located in the back of the room for the exhibitors to put their cages and stuff on during the show. The exhibitors can also answer questions about the show and visitors can talk to breeders to choose potential new stock. *

Go to “Tips on Starting a Club”
“Some Ideas On Forming Your Club”
“How to Host an AFRMA Display”

Updated October 17, 2022