Issue 55 December 2019
The longer you are a member of a Club or Organization the harder it is to remember when somebody else joined it, that is the case with Ann Vines who joined with her husband Don. Anyway it was a long time ago. Don & Anne were stalwart members of The Cotswold Pheasant And Poultry Club and helped in every way with The Club. Don passed away a few years ago and Ann passed away at the end of October this year at the age of 83. Until then Anne was still active in the Club, attending meetings and helping at Exhibitions to the end of her life. In the earlier days they both enjoyed exhibiting at Shows and our Exhibitions and showing high class birds that were always put down very well. One of their main loves were for Pekins which, along with other breeds they won many prizes.
Their other pride and joy was their garden growing many vegetables and a beautiful array of flowers. After Don’s death Ann carried on doing as much as she could right up to the end.
Ann meet Don in somewhat novel circumstances. Ann wanted somebody to shear her small flock of Ryeland sheep (which she still had at her death) one summer and was introduced to Don He agreed to shear them and this led to romance and a happy married life together. It just shows you, you never know when or where you can get hit by cupids arrows. The Club has lost another long term member that will be hard to replace and our thoughts go out to her family at this time.
Welcome to the December 2019 edition of the Cotswold Quill.
Firstly, I send my condolences to the family of Ann Vines who sadly passed away on Sunday 27 October. The funeral was on 28 November and was well attended, meaning that she was held in high regard and will be missed by everyone. Ann and her late husband Don were long term and well respected members of the club.
I hope that you all had an enjoyable few months and your birds have not been washed away with the never-ending rain! Some of the roads around here remain impassable with floods and the road closed signs seem to be permanent. Fields are under water and look like lakes.
I vowed not to talk politics in this issue but the election is the day after our December meeting and we will soon know if the Conservatives win, get Brexit done at last, and lead the country on to great things, or Labour win with Jeremy Corbyn taking us back to the 1970s with debt, trade union strikes and power cuts! You’ll never guess my preference!
The Committee have once again organised some very entertaining meetings since the last edition of the Quill.
In September I gave a presentation on the history of breeds of fowl, which I hope you found interesting.
The Club AGM was held in October, incorporating a photographic competition. The meeting was extremely well attended and the committee re-elected, with the addition of Pam Bailey to the committee. Welcome Pam. However, we were sad to report that long standing committee member Margaret Saunders retired from the committee due to ill health and junior member Daniel Marchese retired due to other commitments. We wish them both well and thank them for their invaluable contributions over the years.
The Box Show was held in November, judged by Phil Parfitt, ably assisted by his father Wayne. This year we changed the format a little, giving anonymity to the entrants. Once again this was well attended. Thanks once again to the Parfitt family for a most enjoyable and amusing evening, particularly with the long trip from Neath in South Wales, made more difficult with snow.
We look forward to the December meeting where Mark Ball is returning to give us another talk on Taxidermy, hopefully with some examples of his work.
The committee has organised a varied series of talks and events for the next year, which are detailed on your membership card and will soon be shown on the club website.
The last remaining exhibition for the season was the FFF&B Ploughing Match, held this year at Barrington Estate, near Burford. We were very concerned about the weather with a lot of rain the day before, particularly as we had to cross two large fields to get to the showground. Thankfully, the rain held off on the day, although the strong winds made putting the marquee up quite difficult. We managed to get the marquee down and get off the site before it the heavens opened again. We understand that those who stayed for the evening event in the large marquee did not fare so well as they were towing vehicles off the site until the early hours of the morning! We later found out that an edition of the television programme “Junk and disorderly” was filmed on the day and we were in the background in several shots. However, if you blink you miss it and the pause button helped!
Our list of exhibitions for 2020 are shown on your membership card, so why not come along to an exhibition or two this year. We have a good time and it means free entry to the show.
Best wishes to you all and I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2020. Many of you will have a break over Yuletide but just think of the many Accountants such as myself slaving over the computer preparing accounts and tax returns to get them in before the 31 January deadline! Roll on February!
John Smith. Chairman and Exhibition Secretary.
The Cotswold Pheasant & Poultry Club
The December edition of the Cotswold Quill traditionally has all the paperwork such as schedule and entry form for the Annual Members Show. However, as I was about to put this edition to bed (publisher speak for a magazine ready for printing), the news came through that an outbreak of AVIAN FLU has been detected at a poultry farm in Suffolk, resulting in 27,000 birds being culled. So, we are still attaching the paperwork and keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will all blow over and we won’t have all poultry gatherings banned.
I won’t get into a political debate but as I write this we are about to have the most important General Election probably in my lifetime. Let’s hope those that want to remain as a member of the EU vote one way and those that want Brexit vote the other. No pollsters have mentioned the teenagers that have become eligible to vote since the referendum in 2016. I wonder what effect their votes will have if they bother to go to the polling stations. Also, I wonder how many voters have changed their mind now they can cut through the fake promises either way that was banded about in 2016.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Ken Cservenka. Editor
A TALE OF TWO CHICKIES
One of the issues which those of us who keep a few garden chickens will probably have faced during late spring and summer is ‘the broody hen’. We have a mixed bag of full-size hens, presided over by an elderly cockerel who was himself born & raised here, and a group of (mostly) Pekin bantams of various colours, also with a cockerel. None of the normal hens became broody this year , but the bantams (apart from two newbies not yet at point of lay) were something of a trial, with at least one broody, and sometimes two at a time, over a period of several weeks, so the broody coop was in almost constant use.
We had no need for additional members of the flock, but we also keep quail, both small (Chinese) and large (Japanese), with which successful breeding is very difficult without an incubator, which we don’t own. So when Heather, a young black bantam, went broody, Alison, my wife, wanted to see if Heather would sit on some large quail eggs. By way of encouragement, since she seemed to be wavering, she was given a bantam egg as well.
You can guess the result: all the quail eggs were pushed to one side, and Heather concentrated on the single egg of her own kind, although she didn’t always seem to be giving it her full attention. We counted down the days on the calendar, until one Sunday morning, when I went into the garden to let all the chickens out for the day, I heard a slightly different sound from Heather’s roost. I therefore went to her first, thankfully, as I found her pecking at a newly-hatched but already chilled chick. I called Alison to join me, and her prompt heat treatment – warm hands, the airing cupboard and our heat lamp in quick succession – fanned the guttering flame of life back into the chick. But what to do next with a singleton?
Another bantam, Goosey, had only come out of the broody coop a few days before, so I suggested that we see if she would ‘adopt’ the baby chick as her own. The initial reaction was hesitant, but it wasn’t long before her maternal instinct kicked in and she soon allowed the chick to burrow into her feathers. We still had to take a little remedial action to help it find its balance on legs which were slightly splayed, but quickly strengthened.
A week on, Goosey (who had not hatched an egg of her own) proved the prefect mother, and the chick, while still very small, was past the worst. Because of its difficult start, ‘Chickie’ has remained slightly undersized, but is otherwise enjoying a normal life in the flock. It is always helpful to learn which of your hens make good mothers: one of our non-Pekins is so good as to be available for hire! Sadly, perhaps, we should not take the risk of allowing Heather a second chance. Nonetheless, one of chicken-keeping’s little victories.
This is a tried and tested recipe and not an egg or chicken in sight.
3lbs Cooking Apples, sliced
1 ½ lbs Chopped Onions
1 ½ lbs Demerara Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
1Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon white pepper
1lb Sultanas or ½ lb raisins and ½ lb sultanas
1 pint vinegar
Boil all ingredients together for one hour
Photographic Competition at the AGM
Show bird – winner: Charlie Berry.
Chicks – winner: Charlie Berry.
Poultry in its environment – winner: Sandy Vaughan.
Cute or ah type photo – winner: Charlie Berry.
Wild Bird – winner: Charlie Berry.
Photo by Junior member – Jenson Hill.
Best Photo – the cute entry by Charlie Berry.
Box Show 2019
The judges were Phill Parfitt and his father Wayne with the latter providing the stand-up routine.
There were two entries in the Junior Class a Cream Legbar hen and a Silver Appleyard duck. The duck entered by Oliver Crump won the class.
The waterfowl class attracted three entries, Silver Appleyard, Buff Orpinton and a Magpie. The Magpie entered by John Marfleet won the class.The Poultry class attracted 12 entries. The list included, Red Dorking, Barbu de Watermael, Serama (Silkie Feathered), Buff Columbian Pekin, Vorwerk, Serama, Dutch Bantam, Japanese Bantam and a Buff Rock cockerel which eliminated all before it and the following birds including another Serama, a Brahma and a Yokohama. The winner of the poultry class and overall box show winner was the Buff Rock owned by Kevin Brown.
Heligan Rare Breeds Show
So took a few Dorks down to Heligan rare breeds show with AubiChick and Leucillin today. They won some stuff and got some good feedback but the most important class was the “Visitors Vote” Over 400 members of the public voted for their favourite out of a multitude of poultry, ducks, geese and turkeys. Sharon, my cockerel and star of many of the #cockwashing posts managed a very respectable 4th place overall which isn’t bad for a big brown bird amongst many funky marked and very cute ducks and bantams. Each vote card asked for a reason why they had picked it as the best. Lots of lovely comments about condition and being handsome but my favourite two are below “he winked at me” and “the impressive thing on its head reminds me of the evil penguin in Wallace and Gromit”
The National Poultry Show, Telford.
Last weekend, the Buff Rock cockerel that won this year’s ‘Box Show’ beat a good class of Buff Rock cockerels at the Plymouth Rock Club Show at the National Show. He also won the special and cup for best male Rock (large or bantam in any colour) at the club show. I took a buff hen, two buff cockerels, a buff pullet and a buff trio.
The hen was placed 4th, while the other cockerel and the pullet were both placed 3rd. The trio came away with a first special and a cup for best Rock trio.
In the Appenzeller Spiitzhauben class Pam Bailey achieved a trio of results with first, second and third.
When all this wind and rain finally abates we may get some cold, frosty and maybe snowy weather. This can have consequences for cock birds with large combs as they can be susceptible to frostbite. A coating of Vaseline may help keep any damage at bay.
History of the breeds
For our first meeting of the 2019/20 winter programme our Chairman and Exhibition Secretary, John Smith gave a talk about how the breeds were developed.
When cockfighting was banned in 1849, Old English Game became show birds with the first show for them being held in 1850. The judges then wanted taller birds and this is when the breeds such as Asil and Malay were first shown. In the 1880s the old pit game became the Oxford type Old English Game and the Carlisle type split away and attracted there own enthusiasts.
The Rosecomb Bantam was first mentioned around 1483 bred by John Buckton in the reign of Richard 111. The king was impressed by them and this made them very popular. They were shown at the London Zoo Poultry Show in 1845.
The Nankin Bantam is a small buff coloured true bantam with black tail feathers and blue legs. It is thought to be one of the oldest breeds. It is associated with a Mrs Peters from Sussex and most current stock originated for her birds.
The henny feathered Sebright bantams were developed by Sir John Sebright (1767 -1846) with the Gold variety appearing first followed by the Silver.
Around 1842 at the end of the opium a lot of new breeds started to appear. These included Cochin, Brahma and Langshan.
The Cochin originated from Shanghai in china and first appeared in the USA before arriving in England around 1850. They fetched silly money at auction as £609 was paid; £53,000 in today’s money.
Dark and Light Brahma also appeared in the 1850s and became popular after Queen Victoria was given some in 1852.
The Langshan was first imported by Major Croad around the same time. These later split into two new breeds, the Modern and German Langshan.
After the Opium wars a pair of Buff Pekin bantams were looted from the Summer Palace in Pekin. Some Black Pekins soon followed from China. The two varieties were crossed to create the Partridge Pekin.
Black Orpingtons was created around 1886 followed by the white variety in 1889.
The Norfolk Grey was created around 1920. They were originally named Black Maria. Our own club member Andrew Bowden rescued the breed from extinction in 1973.
The Marsh Daisy was first mentioned around 1880, owned by John Wright from Marshside near Southport.
Dorking is one of the oldest breeds with its ancestry in the Britain dating back to Roman times.
Part 2 next time.
Club Diary Dates
Wednesday 8th January.
A talk, “Preventing disease in backyard poultry” by Avian Vet Tom Dutton.
BVM&S Cert, AVP (Zoo Med), Dip ECZM (Avian) MRCVS.
Wednesday 12th February.
A talk on cage and aviary Birds.
By Geoff Taylor – Live props.
Sunday 8th March
Annual Members Show
Cricklade Town Hall
Wednesday 8th April.
A talk on showing eggs.
By Karen Elliott.
- Ken Cservenka
Tel: 01285 654640 or 07922 113405
Large Silver Grey Dorking
Large Utility Light Sussex
O. R. Gardner 07974 740909
Gold Sebright pairs and trios
Quail D’Anvers pair
R Cheesley 01793 762780
From the President’s Perch
With the sad news that we lost Ann Vines at the end of October I was saddened that I was unable to attend her funeral as I had Sue in hospital at the time. I was very pleased to hear that “The Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club” was well represented on the day. Thank you. It is one fact of life that the older we get the more funerals we attend, but it does give us a chance to thank these people for what they have given to other people during their lifetime.
Again we (the Gloucestershire We) must thank Margaret Gardner for all the HARD work she has put into this years programme. It is as varied as usual and I hope all the meetings are well attended, to thank her for all the hours on the telephone, trying to tie people down to give up their time to come and speak to our group.
In November we held our Annual Box Show with a few changes to keep ownership of the birds secret from us. I think it was a good innovation and quality still came through, well done to all the class winners. Now you have tried the Box Show why not try our Members Show this year. Let us try and bring the numbers back up to what they were few years ago, it would give Ken a big boost to see this. I will try and do as much as I can but I am afraid it is not as much as I would like to do. Do not forget that any help on the Saturday evening or on the show day is most welcome.
Finally may I wish you all A Very Happy Christmas and A Prosperous New Year.
The committee 2019-2020
President Neil Harvey
Chairman and Exhibition Secretary John Smith
Treasurer Kathleen Harrison
Secretary Margaret Gardner
Show Secretary and Editor Cotswold Quill Ken Cservenka
Trophy Steward Charlie Berry
Committee Margaret Saunders
Junior Committee: Daniel Marchese
The views expressed in this Newsletter by individual contributors are not necessarily those of the club committee.
Editorial Deadline for next issue
Saturday 1st April 2020