A JUDGE'S IMPRESSIONS.
On Saturday evening a representative of this journal had a shorfc chat; with Mr F. Dacre, of Christchurch, who judged the Poultry sections at the Winter Show, and elicited from that gentleman his impressions regarding those sections. The Show [ as a whole, "said Mr Dacre," " is very representative of the district, and there is a great improvement noticeable m most i classes since my last visit to Ashburton, four years ago. The improvement is especially marked m fcha farmo-s" classes ; m fact I have attended no Show for many years, where it was evident that farmers took so much interest m poultry breeding 1 The birds most favoured by your farmers are" utility breeds,/ and those used for crossing. I have met several of your farmers who take a very keen interest m table poultry, and m crossing:. In cases where farmers take up poultry breeding, they generally become useful members of Poultry Societies, and are of great assistance m the Poultry <vorld. In Ashburton •things are going ahead splendidly, as far as poultry fancier are concerned, and there is, m my opinion, a great future beforo the Ashburton Poultry Society. The combination;of the Poultry and Winter Shows is an excellent thing, as it brings poultry fanciers and farmers together, to mutual benefit. Poultry breeders, both m Australia and New Zealand are at present paying more attention than formerly to such utility breeds as the Wyandottes and Orpingtons, and these appear to be the most popular broeds m your Show, but I am of opinion that such well known strains as the Leghorn will soon come into more prominence. When I was m Sydney some tima ago I was astonished to find such a great interest taken m poultry raising, and at the large number of professional poultry farmers m New South Wales. On many of the poultry farms 509 to 1000 head of poultry are carried. At Hawkesbury College I saw 2000 head of paultry, while at the Royal yards 1200 birds are kept. At Willowby, North Sydney, a specialty breeder runs 250 Black Orpingtons, on half an acre of land. This breeder recently sold a cockerel for fifteen guineas, and a winner at the New South Wales Royal Show for £32 10s. Another dealer sold a second prize Wyandotte pullet for £10 10s. Very good prices were realised at the recent Christohurch Show, one prize winner bringing £10 10a. The evenness of quality apparent at recent shows is rendering the work of judging very difficult, and this high standard of quality has a good effect upon those fanciers whose birds are so inferior as to be absolutely outclassed by their competitors. Such breeders realise that they must make great improvement if they are to be m the running with the prize winners. Taking individual exhibits m your present Show, I was very favourably impressed with Mr Hampton's splendid Black Minorca cockerel, which was an almost perfect specimen of the breed, and well deserved tha prize awarded to the best Minorca m the Show. It is a singular thing, that m every centre m New Zealand there is some exceptionally successful breeder m j «ne particular class. In Ashburton, the ! district is fortunate m having such breeders as Mr T. Breeze, whose Hoadana cannot be excelled throughout Australasia, and Mr S. Mclntyre, who is m a similar position as regards Hamburgs. The second prize Houdan cockerel m the present Show has been purchased on behalf 'of a Sydney breeder. The exceptionally ' fine silver laced Wyandotte pullet shown ' by Mr E. D. Johnston, which secured first and special prizes m its clas3 and an addition prize as the second best bird m the Show, ia an example of the enterprise shown by local breeders. Mr Johnston purchased this bird at the last Christchurch Show, when it was n prize winner. The working homer pigeoca shown here are a nice conditioned lot of birds, showing the great interest taken m their hobby by the members of the local Pigeon Flying Club. I lam pleased to see the interest taken m dressed poultry at the present Show. One hint which may be of assistance to far mers exhibiting at future Bhows, is to take more care m sending birds m with their feathers clean. There ia as much art almost m getting the feathers of a bird m condition for show purposes, as there is m breeding, If farmers desire to compete with the best ( outside fanciers they must pay much more attention to condition.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6605, 26 June 1905
Poultry Section. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6605, 26 June 1905
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