Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club

THE COTSWOLD QUILL

Issue 53  March 2019

2019 Members Show Champion
Onagadori Cock exhibited by Ian Lambert


The Members Show was held on Sunday 17th February. The judges, Steve Potter and Elfin Jones had travelled all the way from Caernarfon in North Wales to judge the show.

As well as Show Champion the Onagadori was also placed as the Best Large Rare Breed and also the overall Best Rare Breed. The Reserve Champion was a Sussex Bantam female owned by Sandy Vaughan that also took the honours for the Best Opposite Sex to the Show Champion, Best Soft Feather Bantam, Best Overall Soft Feather and Best Sussex.

Best Overall Hard Feather went to Kevin Brown with a female Old English Game Bantam. Kevin also won the cup for the most points gained in the show.

 

A Saxony Indian Runner Duck owned by Kathy Harrison was awarded Best Waterfowl. A Plate of six Large Eggs exhibited by Gwen Miles won the cup for the Best Eggs. Compared with the last show that was held in 2016 the overall number of exhibits was well down. In 2017 we were hit by the restrictions caused by a countrywide lock down due to Avian Flu and 2018 was hit by the bad weather event known as The Beast from the East, so it was not surprising. The judges were well impressed by our hospitality and the general high standard of our birds. The remainder of the results are published at the end of this newsletter.

 

Chairman: Mr John Smith 01666 824763. Cotswold Quill editor: Mr Ken Cservenka 01285 656480.

ken.cservenka@sky.com

Sercretary: Mrs Margaret Gardner 01666 510248

 

 

Chairman’s Chatter

 

Welcome to the March 2019 edition of the Cotswold Quill. It is so nice that the nights are drawing out and Spring is on its way. It somehow makes everyone feel better.

Firstly, just an update to say that our club president, Neil is making steady progress at home and we hope to see him soon. Neil has requested that anyone wishing to get in touch with him should do so by telephone as he is not looking at his emails at present. He would love to hear from you.

I know I said that I wouldn’t mention politics again, but the Brexit political shenanigans continue! I just wish that our Government are allowed to carry out what the majority of us voted for. We can then celebrate and normality will resume. Confidence will return and Britain can be great again. I heard today that the country will be charged £1 billion per month if there is any delay. Rather than billing the country, they should raise an invoice personally to every MP that is using delaying tactics for their own political agenda! Hopefully this will all be over before the next issue of The Quill, but I doubt it somehow!

On a lighter note, the Committee have once again organised some very entertaining meetings since the last edition of the Quill.

In December, club member Richard Burford gave us a particularly interesting talk on Sicilian Buttercups, where he went into the history of the breed and his attempts to revive the silver coloured birds.

Unfortunately, due to pressure of work, I was unable to attend the January meeting which was a presentation by Gordon Kirk about the Gloucestershire Bird Atlas and the work of the BTO. I have not heard anything about the meeting so hopefully you enjoyed it.

In February, we were able to hold our Annual Members Show for the first time in three years. Last year’s show was cancelled due to snow and the previous year was cancelled due to Avian Influenza, so it was a relief that it went ahead. Thank you to everyone involved in putting the show together and to those of you that attended on the day, making the show a success.

By the time that you read this we will be treated to club member Ian Lambert giving us the lowdown on the history of the Japanese long-tailed birds and hopefully he will be bringing examples along for us to see.

The Exhibition season starts on 25 May with the Oxfordshire Young Farmers rally at Ducklington, Oxfordshire, although the next one after that is a couple of months later in July. A full list is on our website, although the way the weekends fall this year has given us a few problems. Unfortunately, we cannot attend Stroud Show this year as it clashes with the Cotswold Show. Also, Moreton in Marsh Show is the day before Frampton on Severn show. In this instance the birds will not be allowed home until after the Frampton Show under the Bird Gatherings licence, enabling us to treat both shows as one bird gathering. Why not come along to an exhibition or two this year. We have a good time and it means free entry to the show.

Please refer to the club website, which includes updates from DEFRA on Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and is updated regularly with a full list of events, thanks to webmaster Sandy. Sandy is looking at overhauling the website soon so we look forward to that.

Best wishes to you all.

John Smith, Chairman and Exhibition Secretary.

 

Editorial Ramblings

We appear to have had May weather in late February, with at least four species of butterfly on the wing. When butterflies emerge from hibernation during warm spells in late winter, I do wonder if they perish when the weather turns colder. To balance things up we are now suffering with horrible wet and windy weather, it snowed in Cirencester on the Sunday before the March meeting.

I have heard that Swallows and House Martins had arrived in Cornwall during that warm spell; I imagine they are wishing they hadn’t bothered. Sand Martins have been seen around the lakes at Frampton on Severn, but they are always the first to arrive.

I have added the schedule and entry form for the Egg Show in May. The eggs are entered on the day but if you email the form to me a couple of days before the show it will save time on the day.

Sicilian Buttercups

For our December meeting club member, Richard Burford brought along his Sicilian Buttercups to explain some of the characteristics of the breed along with some history. Although the original stock came from Sicily the first documented imports into America arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1860 by Captain Dawes on his ship, the “Fruiterer” and were taken to his father’s farm. They were eventually admitted to the American standards in 1918. They arrived in Britain from America around 1912 and were exhibited at the Crystal Palace Show by the newly formed breed club in 1913, with classes of 100 or more birds. After the Second World War only the Gold and Silver varieties remained and the breed club closed. The decline in popularity was partly caused by the rise of the Light Sussex and Wyandotte in the poultry industry. Mr R Billson the late secretary of the Rare Poultry society kept them going in recent years and Richard has his bloodlines. The main feature of the breed is a cup-shaped comb. Leg colour should be willow green. The Bantam was standardised in America in 1960. Richard is now trying to breed the silver variety.

 

 The Cotswold Pheasant & Poultry Club

Website

www.cotswoldpoultryclub.co.uk

Cotswoldppc@hotmail.com


 

Show Result

 

At the recent Reading and District Bantam Show, Charlie Berry won Best Eggs.

Also at Reading, Kevin Brown won Best Plymouth Rock with a Buff cock bird. The same bird was Reserve Breed Champion at the National.

 

At the National Show Sandy Vaughan won Reserve Champion eggs. Also, 3rd with a Serama cockerel and 2nd with a Serama pair.

At the Federation Show she won 2nd with a Serama Pullet and 2nd with a Serama pair.

 

Seasonal Reminder

 

Keep your eyes peeled for an unseasonably early occurrence of Red Mite. It has been reported that the recent warm weather in late February has given them an early start.

 

Editorial Deadline for next issue

Saturday June 1st  2019

(01285) 656480

ken.cservenka@sky.com


 

 

Gloucestershire Bird Atlas

 

For our January meeting we invited Gordon Kirk along to talk to the club about the work of the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and the recording effort to produce the Gloucestershire Bird Atlas that was published in 2013.

The BTO are based in Thetford, Norfolk and has 100 staff, 20,000 members and 30,000 supporters. All bird ringing in Britain is carried out by ringers licensed by the BTO. A recent development is satellite tracking and has had a lot of success tracking Cuckoo and more recently Swifts. This gives accurate information of the routes taken to their wintering grounds and their movements in Africa. There has been long term monitoring (90 years) of bird numbers, giving valuable information of the decline in numbers of many species, including Skylark and Yellowhammer but also the recent rise in Goldfinch numbers. Other surveys include Nest Record Scheme, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), Heronry Census and Garden Birdwatch. They are also responsible for the National Bird Atlas of breeding and wintering birds published in 2013. The Gloucestershire Bird Atlas was produced using the data recorded by volunteers working on the national atlas to tetrad level (4sq Kilometers). Gloucestershire has 720 tetrads and every one was surveyed. The Atlas has 420 pages, 190,000 words, and the work of 26 artists and 26 photographers that produced 220 photographs. 330 species were covered.

 

Exhibition Dates

 

Saturday 25th May

Ducklington Young Farmers Club.

 

Saturday and Sunday 13-14 July

Cotswold Show, Cirencester Park.

 

Saturday 20th July

Stroud Show – TBC

 

Saturday and Sunday 3-4 August

Gloucestershire Steam Extravaganza

South Cerney Airfield, Cirencester.

 

Sunday 11th August

Tetbury Summer Show – TBC

 

Sunday and Monday 25-26 August

White Horse Show, Uffington.

 

Saturday 7th September

Morton in the Marsh Show, Batsford Park.

 

Sunday 8th September

Frampton on Severn Country Show.

 

Saturday 28th September.

FFF&B Ploughing Match,

70th Anniversary event.

Barrington Park Estate Nr Burford.

 

The committee 2018-2019

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

                                                    Sandy Lee

                                                    Richard Burford

                                                    Sean Creed

Junior Committee:             Daniel Marchese

 

Seasonal Recipe

 

Chirpy Chick Cakes

 

To make 8 cakes you will need:

50g (2oz) self-raising flour

1 medium egg

50g (2oz) caster sugar

50g (2oz) soft margarine (Stork)

Paper cake cases

A baking tray with shallow pans

Small round sweets and jelly diamond shape sweets or jelly slices.

 

For the lemon butter icing:

40g (1.5oz) butter, softened

75g (3oz) icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon of lemon juice (from a bottle or squeezed from a lemon)

1drop of yellow food colouring

 

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C or gas mark 5

 

1. Sift the flour through a sieve into a bowl. Break the egg into a cup and add to the flour, followed by the sugar and margarine.

2. Beat the mixture firmly with a wooden spoon, until it is light and fluffy. Put eight paper cases into the pans in the baking tray.

3. Using a teaspoon, half fill each paper case with the mixture, then, bake for 18 to 20 minutes

4. Remove the cakes from the oven and after a few minutes place them on a wire rack to cool.

5. For the icing, put the butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it is creamy. Then, stir in half of the icing sugar.

6. Add the lemon juice, yellow food colouring and the rest of the icing sugar and stir until well mixed.

7. Using a blunt knife cover the top of the cakes with the butter icing. Then use a fork to make the icing look feathery.

8. Press 2 small round sweets onto each cake for the eyes. Then, cut eight jelly diamonds or slices in half for the beaks.

9. Press two halves into the icing to make a beak. Make the pointed ends of the halves stick up a little.

From a children’s recipe book.

 

For Sale

 

I have large and small 6ft high dog pens with netting used for segregating ducks in pairs and/or with ducklings to protect. In excellent condition and MADE UP rather than needing erecting. Could possibly deliver on flat loader if very local. ie instant pent. Varying sizes.

Helen Kendall-smyth 07799 700587

 

Club Diary Dates

 

Wednesday 10th April

Bee Keeping in the 21st Century

By Ian James.

 

Wednesday 8th May

28th Annual Egg Show

and Fish and Chip Supper.

 

Wednesday 12th June

The Club evening trip to “Birdland”

Bourton-on-the-Water. 7.00pm.

 

Wednesday 10th July

Club Barbeque at the Daneway Inn, Sapperton, GL7 6LN 7.30pm £5.50

 

August – No meeting

 

Wednesday 11th September

History of the Poultry Breeds

By John Smith.

 

Wednesday 9th October

Annual General Meeting

Elect your committee

Your chance to have your say

Suggest future meetings.

and

Photographic competition


 

 

 

Chicks and day length

Are infrared heat lamps good for rearing chicks, that was the question posed in an article in the winter WPA magazine?. It is suggested that they are not good for pheasant or turkey chicks and this may also apply to poultry chicks. This is because both are photo refractory breeders, meaning their breeding cycles are affected by day length.

It is suggested that chicks exposed to long daylight hours or 24 hours of light from infrared heat lamps or other sources of artificial light can prevent the birds becoming sexually mature even if they are physically mature, which is natures way of preventing young being produced during the winter months. However, two months of short day length will reset their biological clock. This also affects the hens when they are in lay; affecting pheasants more than turkeys, again as a way of not producing young in the colder winter months.

Another reason for not using light 24 hours a day is the calcium used to make strong healthy bones is deposited during the hours of darkness. 24 hours of light is therefore a contributing factor for problems such as deformed legs and twisted toes.

So to conclude it is suggested that It is better to use ceramic heaters, which do not produce light or Electric Hen contact heaters.

 

From The Presidents Perch

Due to recent health problems, Neil sends his apologies for not feeling up to writing his usual column.

We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him soon.

Ken

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Chairman: Mr John Smith 01666 824763. Cotswold Quill editor: Mr Ken Cservenka 01285 656480.

ken.cservenka@sky.com

Sercretary: Mrs Margaret Gardner 01666 510248