Poultry entries good despite lack of pigeons

Birds of a feather will flock to the Rangiora Showgrounds pavilion this weekend.

The annual North Canterbury Poultry and Pigeon Club show will be held this Friday and Saturday and entries are on a par with previous years, president Gary Donald said.

But no pigeons were entered this year, due to the rotavirus with was plaguing local pigeons this season.

Exhibitors and judges were travelling from as far afield as Blenheim and Oamaru for one of the first shows of the new season.

''It's been a mild season, so some of the birds haven't feathered up as much as we would like,'' Mr Donald said.

''It's early in the season, but late May works for us and there's not too many weekends from May to July when there isn't a show on in the South Island.''

Mr Donald, who is better known for breeding Texel and Poll Dorset sheep, got back into chooks a couple of years back and has been club president for 18 months.

He bred Sussex and Orpington fowl, but said his young birds would not be ready for showing until later in the season.

''I didn't have much luck early on and I didn't get an incubator until later in the season, but next year will be better.''

Mr Donald said poultry shows were enjoying a resurgence after the success of the feature film Pecking Order, which was released two years ago.

Some of the filming was done in North Canterbury.

The local club joined forces with the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club to organise a young bird show at the Rangiora Showgrounds in March which proved to be a huge success.

''We had 250 young birds, so that's a lot of young birds and there was quite a few public coming through,'' Mr Donald said.

''It was a good opportunity for those starting out breeding to follow the judges around as they explained what they were doing and what they look for.''

The North Canterbury poultry show will be open to public on Friday afternoon from 3pm to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to 3.30pm. Entry is by gold coin donation.

For more information, like the North Canterbury Poultry and Pigeon Club page on Facebook.

-By David Hill

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