Poultry preened for annual Bega show

Ray Ubrihien with one of his black Hamburg hens, which he will enter in this weekend’s Bega Poultry Show.

Ray Ubrihien with one of his black Hamburg hens, which he will enter in this weekend’s Bega Poultry Show.

THE annual Bega Poultry Show will be held this weekend featuring many different breeds of poultry.

The show is in its 89th year, and it will run from 9am until 4pm Saturday and 9am until 1pm Sunday. 

Vice-president of the Bega District Poultry Club Ray Ubrihien said around 700 birds had been entered into the event so far. 

Mr Ubrihien said numbers were down a bit this year as around 900 have been exhibited before. 

Exhibitors come from Canberra and Victoria to attend, including one from Warrnambool. 

While no poultry are for sale, those who attend the event will get to see many kinds of different poultry including some rarer breeds, and get to ask breeders for more information about their birds.

Judging will begin Saturday and run for the whole day, then on Sunday the poultry will just be available to look at.

Mr Ubrihien said there is a larger range of birds at this show than at many others.

“It’s usually a popular show for judges due to the good quality of the birds,” Mr Ubrihien said. 

There is money, prizes and trophies to be won by the exhibitors for their birds. 

The judges judge on the Australian Poultry Standards, condition, feather quality and presentation.

The most important factor in their decision is type, which includes composition of each bird. 

There is also a young crowd, with 16 junior exhibitors who have 88 entries between them. 

The event is on at the Bega Showground, entry is free and food and drinks will be available onsite.

Chicken enthusiasts a rare breed

RAY Ubrihien’s family has been breeding poultry for generations, and have been showing for nearly 100 years. 

Mr Ubrihien’s father started showing with Plymouth Rock chickens and his brother Peter continues to breed chickens. 

Mr Ubrihien, of Tarraganda, has a collection of trophies his family has won for their chickens, including one his father won at the Royal Easter Show in 1949. 

He is also interested in rarer breeds of chickens, and has bred the same line of the black Hamburgs since 1981. 

He also breeds silver laced wine dots, which are experiencing resurgence in popularity and have recently been taken off the rare birds list. 

As breeders can no longer import rare breeds from overseas to strengthen the bloodlines already in Australia, Mr Ubrihien said it is getting harder to keep them going. 

“It’s up to the individual to keep the breeds alive,” he said.

“Dad always said if everyone just kept one breed each, it would keep them [all] going.”

Mr Ubrihien said he likes taking part in shows for the social side of things.  

“You get to meet a lot of different people, people with the same interest you’ve got,” he said.

“And you get to see different breeds.

While he just keeps his chickens to show, he said one of the benefits they bring is he has plenty of eggs. 

“It’s a great hobby - it’s a lot of work though,” Mr Ubrihien said.

“It can get expensive – with feed. 

“But you only get out of it what you put into it.”

Mr Ubrihien said the poultry club tries to encourage a younger crowd to take up breeding, and while usually a few get interested around the show and keep breeding, others lose interest. 

Mr Ubrihien will enter 40 birds into this weekend’s Bega Poultry Show, including his black Hamburgs, Australian langshans, silver laced wine dots and white leghorns. 

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