Best in Show egg described as cracking

The March meeting of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Poultry Club took the form of a talk on egg judging along with a box show.While the judging of the birds was taking place, president Ron Carrol explained the scale of points used to assess the eggs he had brought in.

The March meeting of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Poultry Club took the form of a talk on egg judging along with a box show.

While the judging of the birds was taking place, president Ron Carrol explained the scale of points used to assess the eggs he had brought in. Members of the club under his watchful eye and with the help of Trevor Thompson (also an experienced judge) and secretary Graham Lewis, were then invited to assess a selection of Ron's eggs.

Club meetings are always interactive and soon many animated debates arose as members got to grips with the points system.

Members meet on the second Tuesday of the month at its HQ in Barsham, North Suffolk.


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Meetings are aimed at being both educational and entertaining and include talks, mini-shows and trips out. The camaraderie amongst members makes them especially enjoyable.

Oliver Cooper explained how he had made his decisions regarding the judging of the birds.

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Leon Smith won best in show with a beautiful little Call Duck; Tony Wilson's Mottled Peking hen came second whilst Terry Aldous once again produced one of his splendid Dutch Gold Bantams.

Junior member Lewis Seaman's Peking and Naked Neck were also used to illustrate good type, whilst Jack Partridge's young Sumatra showed potential.

The April meeting was based around an egg show again under Ron's leadership. Members of the club, working in groups and individually, scored three whole eggs and three egg contents. There was a wide selection of eggs of various colours shapes and sizes with many eye-catching Green Aracanas entered by junior member Jack Partridge and chairman Fay Shepherd who won the class; Faye also came first in the 3 Large and the 1 Bantam classes.

Turkey, goose and duck eggs were included and whilst these might win their class Ron pointed out they could not win “best in show” as their conformity did not meet the criteria. Oliver Cooper's eggs won all these classes as well as the contents class for large and bantam eggs.

Best in Show was won by Mike Gooderham with a large AOC described by Ron as a “cracking egg”. The witty banter and Ron's subtle sense of humour made the evening very enjoyable. Mike's egg was laid by a hen which is part of his hybridisation program aimed at producing the ideal back-yarders utility chicken with characteristics that hark back to the original pure-bred specimens:- good productivity (eggs and meat), ascetically pleasing eggs and fowl, hardiness, friendliness, high fertility and fecundity.

Many of these characteristics have been lost in some fancy strains. The male line is based on an F1 cross of Black Orpington/Cochin with genes for large size and hardiness, whilst the female line is a Rhode Island Red/Welsummer cross characterised by good egg size, colour and productivity.

F2 offspring show variation in phenotype with blocks of characteristics being copied including plumage and the perfect egg shape. Fortunately these traits are often coupled with good weight, colour and flavour and tend to be sex-linked. Mike used his eggs and flock as an aid to teaching genetics to A Level Biology students.

Keeping back-yard chickens has become very fashionable once again, and the benefits of eating healthy home produced eggs and meat with a low carbon footprint, are being increasingly recognised. Chickens also make good pets, and can become very sociable.

If anyone in the region is interested in attending monthly meetings new members are always welcome and Graham Lewis can supply details on 01502 722829 along with poultry related information.

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