Breeder in Focus: Caolan Ruddy

Ducks 12-3-20 SM Farm

By Caroline Fullerton

How long have you been keeping poultry?

I have been keeping poultry for about nine years.

What got you into poultry?

I always wanted my own chickens to lay eggs, so I got a small coop and made a run. I went to a poultry sale in Kilrea and got four brown hens. Then about a year later I got a clocking hen and hatched out Lavender Araucanas, then I started expanding and bought a few more different breeds.

Did you start to show right away?

I didn’t start to show right away. I had been keeping chickens for around four years before I started showing.

What got you into showing?

I saw an advert for the Clonmany Agricultural Show, so I thought I would enter a few chickens. I got a third with a rooster so I was happy as it was my first time ever showing. In November that year I joined the Ballymena Poultry Club and started to enter some birds in the juvenile section. This was very successful.

How many breeds have you kept over the years?

I’ve kept about six different breeds over the years but mainly different coloured Wyandottes and Pekins.

What is your favourite breed and why?

Silver laced Wyandotte bantams are my favourite breed. I like their temperament and how eye-catching their lacing is.

What are the greatest challenges with this breed?

I think the greatest challenges with this breed is breeding them so that you can get a bird that has good lacing as well as good type.

What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement was winning Champion Juvenile OEG and Champion White Wyandotte bantam in the same year (2017).

If you were starting out in poultry is there any advice you could give someone?

Yes, I would say don’t keep too many breeds and buy good breeding stock to start off with.

Finally, is there anyone in the poultry world that you admire?

Yes, I admire how Richard Bett keeps so many different breeds and does so well at shows with his birds.

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