Young breeder focus: Daniel Herron

Ducks 28-1-21 SM Farm

Daniel Heron is 16 years old and lives outside Broughshane, County Antrim. He currently attends Cambridge House Grammar School where he is studying for AS Levels in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Daniel’s family has been associated with showing and breeding poultry since his grandfather was a young man.

His grandfather was also successful in showing his pedigree cattle and poultry.

Daniel’s uncle Drew and mother carried on this tradition, showing various breeds at many shows with varying degrees of success. This is how he became involved in breeding and showing poultry.

In fact, Daniel can not remember life without poultry and has been attending shows since he was able to walk.

He said he didn’t really get a choice – keeping poultry was just part of everyday life. As he has grown up he has become even more interested.

Showing was always something he was involved in with his mum and late uncle Drew.

The first time he entered birds in his own name was when he was approximately five years old and put forward some Pekins.

Through the family connection Daniel’s entries were mainly soft feather but he always admired the game birds.

This is where his main interest lies today.

Over the years the family has kept many breeds of Hard and Soft Feather and Waterfowl. He thinks about 40 different breeds.

He has always enjoyed the strong competition and great craic among the competitors.

Daniel’s favourite breeds are the Large Carlisle Game and Old English Game bantams. He loves their colour, character and stature.

He says they are a very self-sufficient breed. They require basic poultry needs – fresh water, feed and clean bedding. The only challenge is their temperament, as the roosters can get very bad-tempered, especially at breeding time.

A memorable year was 2018, his first showing independently. At every show he competed at he was placed on Championship Row with the game birds.

Daniel’s advice to anyone starting out in poultry would be to try and buy the best quality birds you can and breed from your best stock. Quality not quantity.

People he admires include Austin and Robert Shaw, Raymond Armstrong and Jonny Blaney for the quality of birds they produce every year.

These people have helped Daniel immensely along the way by showing him the points to look out for.

A thought to end with: Daniel was always taught from a very young age to congratulate the winner as it is only the judge’s opinion.

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