Last Saturday, during the wonderful weather we have had of late, the Belmont House Hotel, Rathfriland Road, Banbridge, held its first ever Poultry Fair.
It was a resounding success for the organisers and all the sellers who attended this event.
Many of the pure bred poultry keepers are friends and, with no poultry shows and only limited fairs in Northern Ireland since 2019, many hadn’t seen each other for the past two years.
With poultry sellers allowed to set up from 7.30am, it was an early start for the keepers attending this event from all parts of the country.
We arrived shortly after 8am and quickly set up in the area allocated for sellers.
The most important factor of all sales is the welfare of the birds and with the intense heat of last Saturday a good supply of drinking water was imperative.
The early part of the sale was quite slow but as the morning progressed more sellers appeared, making the day well worthwhile for all.
Looking around the fair there was a great variety of poultry for sale, from the mighty Black Orpington to the tiny Dutch and Serama bantams.
In the domestic waterfowl there were Brecon Buff Geese right down to quality Call Ducks.
It was great to see so many minority breeds present, including red Anconas, which I had never seen before, standard size Gold and Silver Laced Wyandottes, Vorwerks, Lavender Orpingtons, Silver Barnevelders and Araucanas.
The ever popular Silkies were for sale in a number of colours and both them and Pekin bantams were available from some of the top exhibitors in the country.
Also at this fair was all the equipment you would ever need to rear poultry, including a great selection of drinkers and feeders.
The Belmont House Hotel looked after the catering with a choice of bacon and sausage baps and drinks available.
This is a wonderful start for a new poultry fair venue and it was a very enjoyable day out meeting up with old friends and acquaintances.
The organisers did a great job and are planning to run this as a monthly event.
The next poultry fair at the Belmont house hotel will be on Saturday, August 28.
If you are wishing to sell birds you must pre-book by contacting the Belmont House Hotel on 028 40 662517 as spaces are limited. I hope to see you all there.
The Banbridge Poultry Fair Group is now looking at running a poultry auction. Once this in confirmed I will report details on this poultry page.