Winter Fair Poultry Show is popular event

24 October 2013

The recent warning by the British Poultry Council – the voice of the poultry industry – that the country will soon be unable to produce enough UK-reared chickens to satisfy consumer demand unless the planning process for new poultry farms is accelerated, will be of little concern to exhibitors at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair Poultry Show.

We eat 2.2 million chickens a day, 70 per cent of them reared in the UK, and there are some large scale producers in Wales.  But the commercial side of the poultry business is far removed from the world of showing poultry, an exciting and rewarding hobby pursued by many poultry fanciers around the country.

Their enthusiasm for breeding and showing has been crucial in protecting for generations old and interesting breeds of poultry whose genetic characteristics continue to influence today’s modern meat and egg producers.

Many of these old breeds will be on view when they compete for prizes at the Winter Fair Poultry Show which is one of the major events of its kind.  The show is held under the rules of the Poultry Club of Great Britain and has championship status.

Nearly 260 classes and special awards are scheduled for one day at this year’s show at Llanelwedd, a popular attraction at the Winter Fair, which takes place on December 2 and 3.

Visitors and potential breeders and exhibitors will be able to see a variety of birds including bantams, geese, ducks and turkeys.  They will include familiar and traditional breeds and also many exotic breeds of foreign origin whose brilliant colour combinations help to make the show so fascinating.

Breeding poultry for showing is fun and is a feasible back-garden activity.  It does not require a large number of birds although it does take time and enthusiasm and a basic knowledge of genetics.

The show provides a strong incentive for young competitors and this year there are a number of classes for juvenile exhibitors and also a Junior Handler competition.

The event, which takes place on the second day of the Winter Fair, has an extensive waterfowl section which will display many varieties and will provide an opportunity to see local breeds such as the Welsh Harlequin, developed in the last 60 years from the familiar Khaki-Campbell, and the Brecon Buff, a breed based on the traditional buff-coloured geese of Mid Wales.

There are also several classes for eggs including one for the best decorated egg.

Schedules for the Poultry Show are available online at www.rwas.co.uk and other information may be obtained from the RWAS Office at Llanelwedd on
01982 553683.