Chook ex­perts flock to town for big show

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

MONTO Poul­try Club at­tracted ded­i­cated poul­try pro­duc­ers in the first of its two an­nual chook shows.

Two judges from New South Wales came up, along with a num­ber of ex­pert farm­ers from Cen­tral Queens­land and be­yond to min­gle with the lo­cal fowl farm­ers.

Glenda Hurst has been raising poul­try for 21 years and has learned a thing or two.

“It takes a lot of patience, a lot of per­sis­tence, a lot of it’s in the ge­net­ics as well as the pre­sen­ta­tion,” Ms Hurst said.

“They’re not all cham­pion ma­te­rial, you have to as­sess each fowl and see which one fits a cham­pion stan­dard and which one doesn’t.”

Ms Hurst ran sev­eral Aus­tralorp fowls in the Monto Poul­try Show, which ended up be­com­ing Grand Cham­pion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing good util­ity fowls fit for both meat and lay­ing, the Aus­tralorp is Aus­tralia’s na­tional fowl.

The judges de­bated long and hard over who should get the top spot, but in the end, Ms Hurst’s bird won.

Re­serve Cham­pion went to Monto Poul­try Club trea­surer Neville Keit­ley for his large black-red cock­erel.

Poul­try club steward Clin­ton Now­land said the judges have an Aus­tralian Stan­dards book which is con­sid­ered the “Bi­ble” of poul­try judges.

“The judges were ar­gu­ing over which bird should be Grand, they nearly wanted to bring in a third judge,” Mr Now­land said.

Long-time poul­try judge Mal McDougall from Bund­aberg, who at­tended as a com­peti­tor, said he’s been show­ing at Monto since he was 18.

“I see a lot of the same faces, but a lot of new ones have taken it up as a hobby or get­ting their kids into it,” Mr McDougall said.

“You get peo­ple from all dif­fer­ent parts of Queens­land, you learn to quiet them down, wash them up and en­ter in the show.”

The Monto Poul­try Club typ­i­cally runs two shows a year. This was the first, hav­ing been pre­vi­ously de­layed due to the floods.

Next will be a Su­per Show in Septem­ber 9, with $500 prize for Grand Cham­pion and $250 for Re­serve Cham­pion up for grabs.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

FOWL PLAY: Glenda Hurst came up from Baf­fle Creek to win Grand Cham­pion at the Monto Poul­try show.

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