Grafton chook fancier shares thoughs on poultry and passion
SHE met the love of her life at an agricultural show, so it's not surprising that shows hold a special place in Robin Brown's heart.
The Grafton woman was one of the stars of the poultry pavilion at the 2014 Brisbane Ekka where she, or more specifically, her light breed bantam, claimed a champion's title.
For Robin it was testament to the hours she had spent selecting, breeding and preparing her birds for competition.
"This definitely makes it all worth it. I'm rapt," she said.
"It's great to come away with a win, especially when you see how good the other bantams are."
I bought my first chook for $8 at Grafton markets and I have just gone from there
It was the second time she has made the trip from her home in northern New South Wales for the RNA event at the Brisbane Showgrounds, but after her success, she's prepared to make it an annual journey.
"I love shows, and this is one of the best," Robin said.
"I met my partner, Jack Sivewright, at the Maclean Show, so yes, I think there is something special about them.
"He's always been involved in showing cattle, but I became interested in chooks in 2009.
"I've always lived on a farm, so I have had a lot to do with animals.
"I bought my first chook for $8 at Grafton markets and I have just gone from there.
"There is something very rewarding about breeding and showing chooks."
Robin arrived with 39 birds this year and went home with the Champion Bantam Sussex win, Champion Rhode Island Red Bantam and first place in the Large Light Sussex Cockerel class.
"It's a four-hour trip from Grafton and it takes a bit of organising getting all the birds ready, but it was definitely worth it."
This year's Brisbane Ekka poultry judge, Ray Ubrihien, was also from the New South Wales, hailing from Bega on the south coast.
For Ray, the invitation to judge in Brisbane came with a certain amount of nostalgia.
"My father judged here, and so has my brother, so I feel a bit like I have come of age in being able to follow in their footsteps," he laughed.
Mr Ubrihien said he was impressed by the calibre of entries at this year's show.
"The light breeds and the bantams were A1 this year - really good," he said.
"And entry numbers were the same as 2013, so it's a very stable event in terms of competitors.
"Yes there are some older, experienced people involved in poultry showing, but we are also seeing some younger people, so it's very encouraging for the future.
"The quality of poultry at events like this is also a very good indication of the time and effort people are putting into their birds."