The art of poul­try

NZ Lifestyle Block - - From The Editor - Nadene Hall, Ed­i­tor

A FEW YEARS AGO, poul­try ex­pert Sue Clarke and I wrote two books on how to keep poul­try (see page 74).

She’s raised hun­dreds of thou­sands of chooks, maybe over a mil­lion. I lived with tens of thou­sands from the day I was born un­til I left home. But even for poul­try peo­ple like Sue and I, the peo­ple who breed and show the ‘fan­cies’ or her­itage poul­try are some­thing else. A breed unto them­selves.

What’s al­ways de­light­ful is the peo­ple who don’t know they are ‘chook peo­ple’ un­til they get a cou­ple of hens ‘just for the eggs’. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that, and then the fol­low-up is how they now have so many birds they have lost count. Note: chicken peo­ple don’t lose count. In­stead, many seem to get PA (poul­try am­ne­sia) where they in­sist they have no idea how many birds they have. How­ever, their other half has no­ticed the num­ber of coops has gone from three to 17 in two years (true story). That par­tic­u­lar fancier fi­nally con­fessed she would bring home birds, then sneak them in around the back of the barn. If her hus­band didn’t see them ar­rive, were they ever not there? It’s good poul­try logic.

You also won’t hear the word ‘chicken’ come out of a fancier’s mouth. They’ll use ‘poul­try’ and some­times ‘chook’, but not chicken. For them, ‘chicken’ is a meat you eat, not a live bird. NZ Life­style Block does use the term chicken. For me, lan­guage changes over time and most peo­ple use the word ‘chicken’ to re­fer to a live, feath­ered crea­ture that clucks and lays eggs or crows as well as the car­cass they throw in the oven to roast. The fancy peo­ple con­tinue to po­litely dis­agree with me.

One thing we can agree on. There is a small pool of peo­ple who breed the rain­bow of her­itage birds in NZ and we need more of them. If you’re think­ing of adding to your flock, why not head to a lo­cal show (see page 66 for the ones on this month) and take home some­thing truly ex­quis­ite.

This one is a Se­bright. You may think she’s hand-painted, but that’s all nat­u­ral chicken.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.