Arriving at the Dromore Poultry Association hall last Saturday morning we were met with a frenzy of activity as birds were undergoing final preparation before being placed in their show cages.
Not only was this the first local show of the season but, being a domestic waterfowl only show, including a regional Call duck championship show, the hall was full to capacity with almost 400 entries from over 20 exhibitors.
This was a fabulous turnout, especially considering that this show coincided with the Irish Society of Poultry Fanciers Young Bird Show, which had attracted judges and exhibitors from Northern Ireland.
The local waterfowl fraternity had pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable event and as we placed our birds into pens with help from Tannaghmore staff, who were also exhibiting their wonderful waterfowl at this event, the thought crossed our minds that with such big classes of superb birds any colour of prize cards would be success in its own right.
As you could imagine with over 200 Call ducks in the hall, the noise was incredible as these little power packs gave what for with their raucous quacks but the sight of so many quality birds soon seemed to diminish the noise as pen after pen contained outstanding birds and, at the front of the hall, was a massive display of geese with three categories of small, medium and large geese on display with a wonderful array of breeds and colours and a young bird class.
The Dromore Club had worked hard to accommodate this mighty display and I only noticed one empty cage in the hall.
Looking around, all the classes of heavy and light ducks had
The biggest class of heavy ducks was the Rouen, which had 11 entries and a similar sized drake class.
The Aylesbury classes were similarly big, full of quality birds, and the Cayuga and Saxony classes were full of quality birds of great size.
The Appleyard and Pekin classes really caught my eye.
Across to the light breeds and one of the biggest classes was the Buff Orpington duck class, which had a wonderful display of quality ducks. Indian Runners were on display in numerous colours and in the any other variety light class it was great to see a fantastic display of Abacot Ranger ducks.
In the miniature duck classes there was a wonderful selection of Miniature Silver Appleyards and Black East Indians and the wonderful Silver bantam ducks exhibited by Peter Hamill that drew a great deal of admiration.
Soon the judges had arrived in the hall and it was great to see Alan Davies and Tom Davis back again in Northern Ireland. The hall soon cleared of exhibitors to allow them to get on with the arduous task of judging the birds.