Your Chickens - - Feature | Showing -

IF YOU keep chick­ens there are two an­nual events that should be penned firmly into your diary. These are the Na­tional Poul­try Show at Telford (1-2 De­cem­ber) and the Fed­er­a­tion Poul­try show at Stafford (15-16 De­cem­ber).

Ev­ery year both shows at­tract in ex­cess of 7,000 en­tries of all the pure breeds of chick­ens, ducks, geese and tur­keys. And there are some spec­tac­u­lar sights. Imag­ine all those won­der­ful colours and pat­terns in an ar­ray of shapes and sizes — from the diminu­tive Serama to the colos­sal feath­er­legged Brahma. Vis­it­ing one or both of these shows is a good way for po­ten­tial poul­try keep­ers to be­come fa­mil­iar with the va­ri­eties that they might like to own.

If pure breeds aren’t your thing, a visit is still worth­while be­cause the trade­stands on site sell a myr­iad of good­ies. Some peo­ple might seek out the poul­try books, oth­ers may wish to treat them­selves to some new birds from the sales sec­tion, or some just come to soak up the at­mos­phere.

The ar­ray of dif­fer­ent eggs on show is an eye-opener: there are dis­plays of colour­ful fresh eggs, dec­o­rated eggs and egg con­tents, plus pho­tog­ra­phy and paint­ing com­pe­ti­tions. For the younger gen­er­a­tion there are ju­nior han­dler classes, dur­ing which any­one ex­hibit­ing will be re­quired to hold their own chick­ens and ex­plain their knowl­edge of that par­tic­u­lar breed to a judge. Any­one can have a go at show­ing — it is just a case of ac­quir­ing a sched­ule, send­ing off an en­try slip and pay­ing an en­try fee. For any­one lucky enough to catch the judge’s eye, prizes tend to come in the form of red cards and rosettes.

The Na­tional Poul­try Show and the Fed­er­a­tion Cham­pi­onship Show are suit­able for the whole fam­ily. The Telford venue has on site ho­tels, shop­ping and bowl­ing fa­cil­i­ties, etc, while at Stafford, the ho­tels and B&Bs can be found a short drive from the venue.

As a vis­i­tor to both shows for over 20 years, I can firmly say that to miss them is to miss out. See you there! THE NA­TIONAL POUL­TRY SHOW (Satur­day 1 and Sun­day 2 De­cem­ber 2018) Venue: Telford In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre, Shrop­shire TF3 4JH Sched­ules: na­tion­al­show.poul­try; tel: 01830 520856; email: [email protected]­ Times: Opens 9am daily.

THE FED­ER­A­TION CHAM­PI­ONSHIP SHOW (Satur­day 15 and Sun­day 16 De­cem­ber, 2018) Venue: Stafford­shire County Show­ground, Stafford ST18 0BD Sched­ules: fed­er­a­tionpoul­try show.wee­; tel: 01270 619990; email: fed­champ­[email protected] Times: The show opens to the pub­lic at 9.30am (Satur­day) and 9am (Sun­day).

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