Merv shows his champs

Central and North Burnett Times - - 2015 GAYNDAH SHOW -

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.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

CHAM­PION BIRDS: Bund­aberg's Merv Whalley hold­ing his cham­pion large bird, a large old English black red hen.

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