Merv shows his champs
CHAMPION game birds bred by Bundaberg enthusiast Merv Whalley are not just for show.
Whalley’s pit bantam muff hen won champion bantam, and his large old English black red hen won champion large bird at this year’s Gayndah Show.
“I love breeding poultry more than showing them, but to keep up with what’s going on, you’ve still got to go (to the shows),” Mr Whalley said.
Mr Whalley said he appreciated the pit bantams as an Australian breed.
“They’re one of the very few Australian breeds – they bred them when they brought convicts out to Australia,” he said.
“They brought soldiers to guard them from India, from England, and the West Indies.
“Out of those convicts, they bred them and they became an established breed from the early 1800s.
“All they were bred for was to fight (but) I never do it (as) it’s highly illegal.”
The 73-year-old said it had been a “feather in me cap” to judge the pit bantams at the Royal Canberra National Poultry Show, an event which occurs every four years.
“(Showing poultry) is a good hobby,” he said.
“What’s worrying me is the young people aren’t doing it, because they’re not allowed to have them (in town).”
Mr Whalley, who sold his acreage after a bout of ill-health, was facing a similar problem.
He lives in town with only a few female birds as the Bundaberg Council required him to get rid of his two roosters, which prevents him from breeding more birds.
CHAMPION BIRDS: Bundaberg's Merv Whalley holding his champion large bird, a large old English black red hen.