4 June 2024

Best of the country's poultry breeders flocking to Goulburn with eyes on a prize

| John Thistleton
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boy with show bird and awards

Troy Pulis has been interested in breeding champion show birds since he could walk. Last year, aged 6, he won top awards and he helps his father Sam at shows and goes along to auctions with him. Photo: Pulis family.

Goulburn has been chosen to host the NSW State Poultry Championships over this coming June long weekend.

About 2000 entries have been received from all over Australia and the event is set to reward volunteers who have been refurbishing the poultry pavilion at Goulburn Recreation Area, spray painting pens, fundraising and updating auction software.

Acquiring additional pens, having a strong active membership and Goulburn’s central location with plenty of accommodation for visitors led organises to select the city for the championships.

Exhibition Poultry Association NSW president Danny Benn said the event would be the biggest general poultry show in many years. About 800 additional pens will be available for the show that came from the Fairfield Showground, which is being redeveloped.

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“We were able to save them from being used as scrap metal, and will resurrect them to hold the show in two big pavilions in Goulburn,” Danny said.

“We have people coming from nearly every state in Australia, including Western Australia, South Australia, 15 from Queensland and Tasmania.

”We are pretty excited, we have seven exhibitors from Western Australia flying their birds over to this show.”

Most poultry exhibitors develop their interest in breeding show birds from a young age. Goulburn Poultry Fanciers Society president Sam Pulis began when he was 10, encouraged by a life member of the club, Gordon Cooper. Sam’s son Troy, who will turn seven on Friday, is mad about breeding champions and his younger brother Louie, who is almost two, is beginning to show an interest too.

In his second year as president, Sam said a fresh executive was updating all aspects of the club.

“Having new blood in the club has helped,” he said. ”We are trying to get a lot more juniors involved, they are the future of the club. It’s important to get the young ones into a hobby, it beats sitting in front of a video game.”

two men and a waterfowl

No stranger to show success, Danny Benn bred Ferdinand, an Indian runner duck who in 2021 won Grand Champion Bird in Show, the first waterfowl in the event’s 199-year history to win the top trophy. Photo: Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.

Talented young judge from South Australia Jake Bezzina will be judging along with David Simons, a renowned Australian rare-breeds judge from Queensland, and Kim George from Crookwell. Michael Holmes from Victoria will judge the waterfowl section. Also judging will be the legendary Grame Hopf, an international livestock judge well known for helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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A junior judging competition will be held on the Sunday morning, and junior entries have grown to 150, while there are 100 entries in the egg competition.

Some of Australia’s top breeders will be at the auction on Sunday morning, aiming to improve their birds’ bloodlines. The auction will be overseen by a professional livestock auctioneer from northern NSW.

“People can access breeds that they may not have been able to before,” Danny said.

Organisers have turned the championships into something akin to a festival. An art show will feature paintings and sketches of striking, prize-winning show birds. Breeding experts will give talks on breeding and caring of poultry and stallholders will be selling cages, natural feeds, show boxes and poultry equipment.

“Everything will be free, it will not cost a family anything to come and have a look,” Danny said.

NSW State Poultry Championships, Goulburn Recreation Ground, Braidwood Road, Goulburn. Friday: penning from 3:30 pm-6:30 pm. Saturday judging begins at 9 am. Sunday: 9:30 am junior judging. Click here for more details.

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