Arthur and Maude Jordan celebrate winning best cage bird at
last year's inaugural Heartland Poultry Club Show in Timaru
last year. Photo by Debbie Phipps
Moving to New Zealand has given a British cage bird
enthusiast a new lease of life.
Arthur Jordan moved to New Zealand seven years ago and
immediately resumed his passion for breeding cage birds.
He is preparing to enter the Heartland Poultry Club's second
annual poultry show in Timaru on May 10-11.
''I mostly keep the British breeds. I started when I was a
boy and I have always kept the birds, even though it was
basically illegal in England.
''When you're old you've got to do something. You can't just
sit down and die.''
Mr Jordan has a small property in Templeton, just south of
Christchurch, where he breeds about 100 cage birds of
different colours. He got into exhibiting his birds in cage
bird and poultry shows three years ago, something that would
have been unthinkable in the United Kingdom.
Now he entered birds at shows throughout the South Island and
in the North Island.
Last year Mr Jordan won a silver medal at the national cage
bird show in the North Island and won champion cage bird and
third-best exhibit overall at last year's Heartland club
poultry show in Timaru.
''My birds have done really well, but I'm only in it for the
Originally from Leicester, Mr Jordan has bred ''mules'' most
of his life. The feathered variety of a mule is a cross
between a canary and another cage bird breed, including
budgies and finches. He still breeds mules, but also breeds
hybrids, which are a cross between two different cage bird
breeds other than canaries. Then there are the different
''There's no end to the different colours when you go to a
cage bird show.
''You can have green and then you can have red pied, so
you've got to have a bird to put in each class. I usually
take 20-odd birds to all the different shows.''
He also breeds pure-bred yellow buntings and finches.
''Yellow buntings were brought out from England originally.
They mostly live in the fields over there, where there's
horses and cattle. They like to scratch round in their feed.
''I used to have bullfinches, which are a nuisance for apple
growers because they take the tops off the trees. In New
Zealand you have fields and fields of goldfinches, but they
are very rare now in England.''
This year he will be showing rosecomb bantams for the first
time, after Heartland club member Stu Phipps, of Ashburton,
gave him some fertile eggs to breed from.
''Stu wanted me to get into them, so I've been egging him on
that he's going to come second now,'' Mr Jordan said.
Mr Jordan's family are also into breeding. His daughter back
in the UK breeds small chickens and chinchillas, while his
son recently bought a 320ha farm near Motunau Beach in North
Canterbury, where he plans to breed cattle.
The Heartland Poultry Club hosted its inaugural poultry show
in Timaru last year and after a successful first show, the
club decided make it an annual event, club member Debbie
Mrs Phipps said research in local newspapers suggested last
year's show was the first poultry show in Timaru since 1885.
The Heartland Poultry Club's second annual show will be held
at the SBS Events Centre, Morgans Rd, Timaru on Saturday and
Sunday, May 10-11.
Admission is $5 for adults and children are free. For more
information, go to www.heartlandpoultry.co.nz
or the club's Facebook page.
- by David Hill