TO MISS THE ‘BIG TWO’ IS TO MISS OUT
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 club.org; tel: 01830 520856; email: [email protected]tryclub.org. 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.weebly.com; tel: 01270 619990; email: fedchamp[email protected] gmail.com. Times: The show opens to the public at 9.30am (Saturday) and 9am (Sunday).