Record number of birds

Judge Brett Hawker, of Amberley, holds a duckwing hen, entered by Gavin Frahm, of Oxford, which he judged to be the best game fowl at the North Canterbury poultry show at Rangiora last weekend. Photo by David Hill.
Judge Brett Hawker, of Amberley, holds a duckwing hen, entered by Gavin Frahm, of Oxford, which he judged to be the best game fowl at the North Canterbury poultry show at Rangiora last weekend. Photo by David Hill.
A small North Canterbury poultry show received a welcome boost at the weekend.

North Canterbury Poultry Pigeon and Bantam Club president Murray Harneiss said 533 chooks were entered in this year's show, held at the Rangiora Showgrounds on Friday and Saturday.

This was up by 80 on last year, thanks to hosting a national show for game fowl.

''We usually have a good turnout for the big game and I guess having the national show for that just cements it. It's good for a club of our size to get something like this because the breeders bring their birds for the other sections too.''

 

The game fowl were judged by Amberley breeder Brett Hawker, who selected a duckwing hen entered by Oxford breeder Gavin Frahm for best game fowl.

''There was a lot of good quality there. It's just the presentation that wasn't so good.

''It's been a hard year with all the rain, so you can't blame people for not having their birds up to scratch. But the ones that were good, were good.''

 

It was a successful show for Mr Hawker with his game bantams, claiming two South Island championships and winning best game bantam.

''I donated the $100 prize which I won last year for best game bantam, so I'll have to put it up again next year.''

 

Mr Hawker said he had bred chooks all his life, growing up on a poultry farm on Marshland Rd, near Christchurch, before managing a couple of commercial poultry farms.

He got into poultry shows about 30 years ago, when he was living in Rakaia.

''It's a disease. Once you're hooked on it you can't stop. Plenty of breeders don't tell their wives how much it costs to feed their chooks.''

 

As well as game bantams, Mr Hawker also bred a range of colours of wyandotte fowl, including silver, gold, buff and white.

 

 - by David Hill