Poultry entries are likely to reach record levels at this year’s Royal Bath & West Show, with the launch of the Poultry Club’s inaugural Summer National Show.
The poultry section has almost tripled in size over the past decade, and with entries set to reach nearly 1200, exhibitors will be in for some intense competition. “The sheer variety and quality of poultry on show will be tremendous,” says Paul Meatyard, chief poultry steward at the Royal Bath & West Show. “For years the Poultry Club has held a national show in November, but with the addition of this new summer championship show exhibitors have a fantastic new opportunity to build championship points and take home the silver.”
The Show has attracted entries from as far afield as Surrey and Wales, with prestigious judges including Christopher Parker and Paul Kerfoot from Lancashire, and Andrew Wetters and Peter Ward from Derbyshire.
In addition, a number of specialist breeds will host their national shows at the event, including rare breeds, ducks and turkeys. “The range of colours, shapes and sizes make for quite a spectacle up on the balcony above the cattle stalls,” says Mr Meatyard. “People are going back to keeping poultry in their back yard and gardens, and this is a fabulous opportunity for visitors to come along, see the different breeds and talk to the exhibitors.”
With entries closing on 15 April, exhibitors will be picking out their best show birds and ensuring they are in pristine condition for the big day. “Judges will be looking at feather quality, eye and leg colour, body condition, and for that little bit of something special,” says Mr Meatyard. The separate egg show will see nearly 500 plates of eggs also going under the judge’s scrutiny.
“I’ve been going to the Royal Bath & West Show every year for 30 years, and won the interbreed poultry championship three years on the trot,” says Mr Meatyard. “To win at the Royal Bath & West Show is like winning the Gold Cup – there are some wonderful trophies, it boosts the value of your birds, and you’re on a real high for days.”
The Royal Bath & West Show will be held from 27-30 May. Entry schedules for the livestock, equine, poultry and other classes are now available online at www.bathandwest.com or by calling 01749 822200.