THE 2014 Welsh National Poultry Show took place last weekend in a flurry of feathers and noise at the purpose built Brithdir Exhibition Hall, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Showground.
The annual two-day event –which was begun 40 years ago at Llanybydder –has, for the past 10 years, been held at Haverfordwest under the auspices of the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society.
The popularity of poultry continues to increase, and even the newest and smallest farm parks and tourist attractions have a few fowl for added interest. When these are pure breeds, suitably labelled, it fuels the enthusiasm for others to take up the hobby.
At the Welsh National records tumble annually as the number of entries continue to increase to this year’s high of more than 2,100 exhibits, with enthusiastic keepers and exhibitors traveling from across the UK to display their prized poultry in several hundred different classes.
Successfully organised by the Dyfed Poultry Society with waterfowl on the first day and poultry on the second, it is undoubtedly the biggest show of its kind in Wales incorporating more than 570 classes of poultry of which some of the breeds would have long ago died out were it not for the dedication of these knowledgeable breeders.
Secretary Alun Davies, who has been involved in organising the show for the past decade, said:
“We’ve had the top poultry people come this year from as far afield as Cornwall and other parts of the West Country together with Yorkshire, the Midlands and the Home Counties.”
The Welsh National Poultry Show is now considered to be one of the three major poultry competitions in the UK.
This year saw the top prize of Supreme Champion go to first time exhibitors at this show, Nobby and Chris Ward from Bedfordshire with their April hatched blue German Langshan male. This particular breed is derived from the Croad Langshan and is an old, heavy, soft-feathered chicken breed which probably originated in China.
There were a number of outstanding successes for Charles Holtom and his family from the west Midlands who entered the champion and reserve in the waterfowl classes with his large, bantam and miniature crested ducks and also self coloured heavy ducks.
Also a founder member of the Dyfed Society and lifetime supporter, Picton Jones, 83, took 20 entries to the show and came away with a remarkable four championship awards. Show President, Michael Davies congratulating the Society on a truly amazing event said:
“The birds were beautiful and the noise was fantastic –all of them clucking away at the same time. The place was full of characters and odd-looking birds and all those involved, of all ages, take it really seriously. It was like Crufts but for birds!”
The championship judge, Mr Colin Clarke, Norwich was the guest speaker at the annual dinner of the Dyfed Society held at the Beggar’s Reach Hotel.