Final flurry for feathered fancy flock

MORE than a century of poultry showing tradition has come to an end at the Devonport Showgrounds.

Last weekend breeders and enthusiasts gathered at the showgrounds for the final Devonport Poultry Club show.

Shows were held in the current poultry pavilion for 67 years, but club president Ellis Dock said the tradition of showing poultry at the site went back further.

“There has been some sort of shed here at the showgrounds for poultry going back about 105 years,” he said.

Mr Dick has been involved with the DPC for more than 50 years and along with his wife Lorna, the club’s secretary/treasurer, has played a vital role in keeping it going.

Due to the sale of the showgrounds and a planned redevelopment, the club will be looking for a new venue.

Last weekend about 550 birds were entered in the annual show, which included about 50 exhibitors.

“Everyone has rallied around and supported us knowing this is our last show here,” he said.

“The buyers of the property have offered for us to have shows in the new building with portable cages but that could be a bit difficult, so we’ll probably have to find somewhere else.”

The poultry shed at Devonport has been expanded over the years and includes a club room and kitchen as well as the show exhibition area with hundreds of cages.

While the club normally flies in interstate judges for the annual show, Mrs Dick said COVID restrictions meant this year they were using locals.

The club has about 50 official members but about 14 who regularly attend events and help out with the show.

“We are getting a few younger ones interested now though, which is good to see and there are a few more getting into chooks and things,” Mr Dick said.

Help is also available for people interested in poultry breeding and showing.

“You learn heaps and a lot of the older blokes are all keen to share information with new people,” he said.

Mr Dick has been a poultry enthusiast for decades with an interest in rare breeds.

At their home in Wesley Vale the couple have about 200 chooks including 20 different breeds.

Mr Dick said like in any breeding program, strict standards, breeding with the best birds and good temperament were vital.

“If a judge gets to a cage and they open it and the bird is carrying on, they’ll just keep going past,” he said.

“They have to be able to be handled and if they have a good temperament that makes things a lot easier.”

Mr Dick said washing the birds before a show was important preparation.

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