Dorset County Show

Dorset County Show

Dorset County Show


DOGS herding ducks and birds of prey top the pecking order in an ‘egg-citing’ range of activities on offer at the 2011 Dorset County Show.

Show organisers have got birds on the brain as they step forward to announce the theme of this year’s show is poultry, birds and country living.

Keeping chickens and producing eggs is popular as never before, which has inspired Show Secretary Sam Mackenzie-Green to link up with exhibitors, traders and visitors all keen on home-grown produce and keeping the animals.

She said: ‘Poultry are back at the Dorset County Show this year with a new tent in the popular Countryside Area.  Located alongside the lake, on the way to the Lake Ring, you will be able to find our new poultry display and learn more about chickens!

‘Once seen as a niche hobby for hippies and bored country wives, chicken keeping is now officially cool. And it’s not difficult to discover why: not only are hens easy and cheap to keep, they also provide a steady supply of fresh eggs and a readymade way to recycle food scraps. Eggs are at the heart of the chicken-keeping trend, and as any keen cook knows anything made with a really fresh egg tastes better.

‘Many families across Dorset are enjoying the benefits of chicken owning. Whether you want to breed some of the more unusual or exotic chickens or give a new home to an ex-battery hen, the Poultry Tent will be a place to provide you with the information and contacts you need. 

‘Our thanks go to Heathwood Timber Products, Warmwell and C & T Logistics, Blandford, who are offering Show goers a chance to win a complete home chicken kit including chicken house and run, drinker, feeder, a year’s supply of chickenfeed and beginners book to keeping chickens.  All you need do is add the chickens and away you go!’

She added: ‘Of course, animal welfare is paramount at the Dorset County Show – that is why we are delighted to launch our Happy Homes for Ex-bats campaign, which aims to show people that, contrary to popular belief, if an ex-battery chicken is happy, she will begin to lay again.’

There will be over 20 different breeds of chicken on display in the Poultry Tent and experienced poultry keepers on hand to answer your questions. Those who are already enjoying the benefits of keeping chickens are invited to enter the egg classes, held in the Farm Produce Tent. The four classes are as follows:

·        Four new-laid hen’s eggs (brown)
·        Four new-laid hen’s eggs (any other colour)
·        Four duck or goose eggs
·        Contents of one hen’s egg, to be exhibited on a white saucer (provided) and broken by the judge

The winner of the first prize receives £4, the second prize is £3 and the third prize is £2. Judging begins at 9am on Saturday, 3 September. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 10 August. People can pick up an entry form from the Show Office.

Special Show ambassadors dressed up as chickens will be handing out leaflets and selling tickets throughout August – keep your eyes peeled for them on Dorset beaches and towns!

Sam Mackenzie-Green said: ‘You can pick up more cuisine advice if you stop to enjoy free range chicken produce in our food halls.

‘Alongside the usual animals you would expect at an agricultural show, you will find some less usual ones to get up close with. You can learn more about. falcons and even owls!’

She went on to say: ‘We can’t wait to get cracking with our egg-cellent line-up of attractions at the Dorset County Show – come join us on a flight of fancy!’

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