We always had hens at home when I was growing up, however I didn’t really get into breeding and showing until about eight years ago when I was able to set up a place of our own with my wife.
“We started with a few Pekins and some Peafowl. This quickly progressed to Polands, Cochins, Sebrights, Pyle Dutch, Brahmas, Sussex, Rhea, Guinea Fowl, Call Ducks, Ornamental Waterfowl and Toulouse Dewlap Geese.
“If I had to pick a favourite it would be our Polands. They are a nice handy bird to work with, great temperament and fantastic with the kids.
“My wife, children and I have ventured into an exciting new project – Grangewater Open Farm. This is based in Desertmartin between Magherafelt and Tobermore.
“This idea first started about 13 years ago but stayed just that, an idea, until about two years ago when I decided I wanted to expand my personal collection of exotics. It didn’t take long until the Open Farm idea popped up again. The kids gave us the green light, so we set to work.
“Our Open Farm is set in a five-acre site overlooking Iniscarn Forest, The Sperrins and the Mournes. It includes a play park, purpose-built enclosures, coffee shop and picnic area.
“Some of the animals include Highland cows, woolly pigs, meerkats, parrots, porcupines and of course our poultry will be on display.
I hope to continue to breed my birds and get back into showing now the restrictions have been lifted.
“We are hoping to open Mid-June. Full details will be disclosed on our Facebook page. Our opening evening will include bouncy castles, face painting, balloon modelling and even our unicorn Toby.
“We would love to see our poultry friends coming along.”
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