Counting the score on chickens

Poultry judge Rob Leck.

By Margaret Maccoll

Chickens make lovely pets according to designer Max Hornibrook who was introduced to them through a mate. Now he is a member of Nambour and District Poultry Club and on the weekend entered eight of his Old English game fighting birds into the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show.

If poultry is your interest then you’ll know judging soft feather is more difficult than judging hard feather fowl. Having been involved with poultry since he was eight years old it was no trouble for poultry judge Rob Leck, 63, who drew on his extensive knowledge at the Show at Nambour last Friday.

It took just a few minutes for Mr Leck to lift a bird from its cage, take note of the many criteria to consider and make a judgement.

The colour of the feathers, the broadness of its back, the way the feathers display, the alignment of their legs and the symmetry of their wattles dangling from their chins were just a few of elements Mr Leck took into account when he examined and compared each bird.

And the fowl, sensing they were in experienced hands, sat quietly through the procedure.

On Friday Mr Leck had two apprentices in tow to show the ropes. Connor and Ethan Speckman have their own chickens at home and were very interested to learn from the expert.

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