Poultry auction shows youthful appeal
EVENT organiser Bob 'Chook' Fowler lived up to his name as he crowed about the local poultry scene at the Alstonville Agricultural Society Poultry Auction yesterday.
As well as prized chooks, the fifth staging of the annual event featured 160 lots of ducks, finches, quails and guinea fowls.
"Pretty much every lot was passed in. It's been a great day," Mr Fowler said.
Mr Fowler said the Alstonville chook scene had much to be proud of with a number of national titleholders calling the region home.
"A number of competitors at this year's Sydney show come from this area," Mr Fowler said.
"Interest has increased over the years due to the number of people in our area interested in breeding show champions."
Tregregle hobby breeder Laurie Wheaton claimed gold for best Barmevelder at the National Poultry Show earlier this year.
He was on top again yesterday with three of his birds fetching the highest price on the day. A Dutch breed, the three birds sold for $380.
Ian Campbell's Golden Lace Wyandotts sold for $200 for a breeding pair.
Mr Fowler said while the region was home to a number of leading breeders, there had also been an increased interest in poultry from younger families on the Northern Rivers.
"I think families are finding they need a way to get their kids away from the screens and outside with the issues like obesity," he said.
"They reckon in America kids are getting into chooks and veggie gardens. I think it's starting to happen here. They aren't necessarily interested in show chooks but they are after something pretty to breed.
"We've seen a lot of interest from kids here today."
Mr Fowler said chooks make an ideal pet for families.
"They make great pets and give you eggs and they are a cheaper option that most other domestic animals to maintain and sustain," he said
Poultry fanciers can contact the Alstonville Agricultural Society on 0416144086.