Only ‘up to scratch’ birds to go on show

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Ducks and chickens need to be “up to scratch” to go on show at the Dunedin Poultry Pigeon and Cagebird Club Show this weekend, one enthusiast reckons.

Club member Stefanie Kalmakoff has been entering birds in the annual show for about 20 years.

About 60 birds live on her acre of land in Portobello –a flock including silver appleyard ducks, Plymouth barred rock chickens and Pekin bantams.

Some of the birds were moulting so weren’t “up to scratch” to be entered in the show at Forrester Park in Normanby, Ms Kalmakoff said.

She was entering 10 chickens ranging across three breeds – Araucana, welsummer and barnvelder, she said.

The show had a “championship breed” category each year and this year the category was for male barnvelder chickens.

In a bid to ensure the survival of rare breeds she provided fertilised eggs to people wanting heritage bird breeds, Ms Kalmakoff said.

Keeping chickens was becoming more popular but she warned people the cost of chicken feed and vet bills outweighed the savings on eggs.

“But you know you’re getting a healthy egg and your chickens are happy and content, so it gives you more satisfaction,” she said.

More than 700 birds had been entered in the show by exhibitors from as far afield as Blenheim and Invercargill.

The show had four judges, two from Australia and two from the North Island.

The 42nd annual show was open to the public.

People would be amazed by the range of heritage breeds on show, Ms Kalmakoff said.

“There is so many different sizes and shapes and colours . The roosters are magnificent – absolutely glorious.”

The show is open to the public between 1pm and 6pm on Saturday and 10.30am and 2.30pm on Sunday.

Entry: $5, children under 12 free.