The last week has been very busy. Apart from all the normal rushing around to get things ready for Christmas we were also busy loading up our trailer and caravan ready for the National Federation Poultry Show.This show is held every year on the third weekend of December. This year it fell on the 16th and 17th. It is held at Bingley Hall at the Staffordshire Agricultural show ground near Stafford. Every year we increase our range of items that we sell in the shop so every year we have to load up more to take to the Show.
This year there were fewer birds entered than normal but there were still plenty to look at and hear. It always amazes me how much noise people and birds in an enclosed hall can generate.
If you have never been to a National poultry show it is well worth going it is one of the few places you can see most of the colours and varieties of chickens. They are all poshed up for the show and as they are in exhibition cages you can get up close to them and have a really good look. The bantams swept the board at the show with the show champion being a Light Sussex bantam hen belonging to M. Clemens and the reserve champion was a Modern Game bantam shown by M. McCullough, The Waterfowl champion was a White Call duck belonging to J. Johnson.
Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me to take photographs but there will be some in the Fancy Fowl Magazine.http://www.fancyfowl.com/
They were also taking photographs throughout the show for the new edition of "The British Poultry Standards". this is coming out in 2008 and we will be stocking it when it is available. The next National Show is the Poultry Club of Great Britain show http://www.poultryclub.org.uk/ which will be held the first weekend in February 2007 . This is held at the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
This is not a show bird but is one of our working Light Sussex Cockerels . It does show you however what the breed looks like. Light Sussex are a popular breed because they are striking looking and are also good layers. It is a dual purpose breed which was developed in Sussex 1n the 1800's. The birds were appearing at poultry shows as early as 1845. They were bred to provide eggs and meat for the London market and were shipped up to London by train from Heathfield. Nowadays they are a very useful bird for the small poultry keeper because they are good foragers and are hardy. Unfortunately they cannot compete in the commercial market as they do not lay as well as the modern hybrid strains and they also have a habit of going broody.
There are several more commercial types around such as the Sussex Star which resembles the Light Sussex in looks but has better egg production. Few people now keep the Light Sussex for meat because of the length of time they take to mature.
We have been busy in the shop with the sale of gifts in the run up to Christmas the new website http://www.chickengifts.co.uk is generating lots of interest. We also have lots of new gifts in the shop which haven't yet made it to the website . Clive is out every day this week delivering chicken houses and starter kits all over the country to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas. Chicken houses are a very popular christmas present. Don't forget to check out our website. http://www.domesticfowltrust.co.uk