Poultry enthusiasts flock to Bundaberg for fanciers show

Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s winter show
Queensland Leghorn Club vice president Damian Frith judging poultry at the Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s winter show

Poultry enthusiasts from across Australia flocked to the region for the Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s winter show with an impressive 1100 birds on display at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct.

The show was held in conjunction with the Australian Modern Game Poultry Club National Show and also featured a range of rare breeds.

Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s vice president Brett Tucker said there was a variety of birds on display, which included both hard feather and soft feather chickens, along with geese and ducks.

He said shows like this gave breeders the chance to exchange poultry genetics with each other to ensure a sustainable future in the industry.

“Our feature is rare breeds, so we have some very unusual breeds here today, they are the breeds that are dying out and we are trying to save from extinction,” Brett said.

“The thing with Australia, in 1954 we banned poultry imports, so we can’t get more genetics in Australia than we already have here.

“So to save these breeds from extinction and to contribute to the commercial industry with the genetic variations these different show societies are essential.”

Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey and Jack Vuichoud at the Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s winter show

National show big achievement for small club

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey opened the show and said it was important that the community kept supporting clubs like the poultry club, which was established in 1928.

Mayor Dempsey said hosting such a show was a phenomenal achievement for a small regional club and it certainly did the Bundaberg Region very proud.

“A big thank you to all the poultry owners and supporters, they do a magnificent job in the community,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“We all love our chickens and that’s why we all need to support them.”

Between the crowing and clucking of chickens, the four judges, Paul Donnelly, Noel James, Damian Frith and Ray Matheson who had travelled from across Australia, were busy inspecting every aspect of the poultry.

Leghorn Club Queensland Vice President Damian Frith had travelled from Meringandan, near Toowoomba, to take part in judging the national show and said there was a number of traits to look out for when judging each chook.

As Damian inspected a white leghorn he said he looked at the cone of the bird, there should be four to five serrations, and each should be evenly serrated and the bird should also be clean, with almond shaped lobes and red eyes, in order to get top marks.

Damian said every breed had different aspects to look for but he specialised in leghorns and enjoyed judging the species.

Judge says Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers show quality event

It was the third or fourth time he had been to the Bundaberg Region and he said it was always a pleasure to return.

“There are a lot of good fanciers up this way and a lot of specialist breeders here,” he said.

Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club
John White, Paul Donnelly, Ray Matheson, Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey, Noel James, Damian Frith and Member for Bundaberg David Batt at the Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club’s winter show.

“We usually get pretty strong classes of everything up here in Bundaberg.”

Brett said the Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club was run by volunteers and just as other organisations in the community he said each member was worth their weight in gold.

“There is so much passion and commitment from volunteers here in Bundaberg,” Brett said.

“They are the gold in our community and contribute so much to it with their goodwill and comradery.”

The Bundaberg Poultry Fanciers Club was recently given a grant under the Community Benefit Fund which helped to increase not only the facilities and show pens, but also the club’s biosecurity controls.  

“We greatly appreciate Council’s support which helped us upgrade all our biosecurity and our pens to get up to the Queensland standards,” Brett said.

“We were able to purchase new high-tech sprayers to clean and sanitise all our facilities and equipment as biosecurity is very important – even down to washing hands between touching the birds.”

Updated venue attracts visitors to region

Brett said other breed societies now recognised Bundaberg’s venue as one of the best in Australia.

“So by upgrading the facilities and having a high reputation we are attracting other breed societies to come to Bundaberg, and usually they stay for a couple of days, which benefits the community and businesses with accommodation and tourism,” he said.

Show Steward Mal McDougall said that breeding poultry was a good hobby for kids and once the children were hooked, the parents would normally follow.

“It’s a good club to be in and it gives you a lot of opportunity to learn about all ins and outs of the birds,” Mal said.

“There are fanciers all around Australia and we have even had people come here from Western Australia for this event.

“It’s because we have a good name and the venue is just great.”