Cotswold Pheasant and Poultry Club


Issue 56  May 2020


2020 Members Show Champion 

Buff Plymouth Rock Pullet exhibited by Kevin Brown

The Members Show was held on Sunday 8th March, in the nick of time, before we were all shut down with regulations related to Covid 19 coronavirus. The judges, Dilwyn and Aled Green had travelled all the way from the Caernarfon area of North Wales to judge the show.

As well as Show Champion the Buff Rock Pullet was also awarded the Hatcher & Butler shield for Best Overall Soft Feather, The Cup for Best Soft Feather Bantam and The Shepherd Vase for Best Pullet or Cockerel. The Arnold Giles cup for Reserve Champion was gained by an Old English Game Bantam Pullet also owned by Kevin Brown that also took the following honours: Peace and Day Shield for Best Overall Hard Feather and the Howse Cup for Best Hard Feather Bantam. A Buff Orpington Duck owned by Jonathon Crump was awarded Best Waterfowl.

A Plate of six Large Eggs exhibited by Charlie Berry won the cup for the Best Eggs. Compared with the show that was held in 2019 the overall number of bird exhibits was on a par. However, egg exhibits were 16 down on last year.

The judges were well impressed by our hospitality and the general high standard of our birds. We would also like to thank Yvonne Coates and her usual crew for providing the Judges meals and sustaining the membership with drinks and snacks throughout the day.

The remainder of the results are published at the end of this newsletter. Also thank you to everyone that helped with the heavy lifting before and after the show. As things turned out, we held the show in the nick of time as we have been shut down with the COVID-19 pandemic soon after

Chairman’s Chatter


Welcome to the May 2020 edition of the Cotswold Quill.

Firstly, I send my condolences to the family of John Knibbs, who I understand has sadly passed away recently. John was a long term and well respected member of the club, who had considerable success with breeding and showing his wonderful Rhode Island Reds and Light Sussex.

A lot has happened since the December issue of The Quill! The last few weeks, with welcome drying winds and less downpours, has meant that the ground has started to dry up, possibly enough to get the spring sown crops in the ground, where it was too wet to sow in the Autumn. However, time is getting on and there may not be enough growing time for a decent harvest. I suspect that a lot of maize will be sown this year as it is normally planted later, with a corresponding later harvest. However, this is all playing havoc with farmers’ harvest plans, particularly with the claiming of much needed subsidies. Saying that, Defra has relaxed some of the rules to try to accommodate this, including the requirement for each farm to have three different crops each year.

The country was then thrown into turmoil with the arrival of Coronavirus which has, at best, disrupted our lives dramatically, and, at worst, led to suffering and loss of life. My heart goes out to the people in those circumstances.

Whilst the majority of us have battened down the hatches to stop the spread of the disease, I was shocked when we went to Bristol to bring our son Thomas home from University before the lockdown. When we saw the hordes of people flocking to Clifton Downs as usual, totally ignoring the advice to stay at home, we realised that there would be no option for the Government to enforce a lockdown the next day. Unfortunately, there are still irresponsible people out there. In the queue outside Sainsburys the other day, I was shocked when the young Security Guy who was organising the queues said that he had been punched and spat at by those who didn’t want to queue up! Very disappointing in this day and age.

I have to drive a few miles to feed my poultry each day and I am amazed to see so many MAMILS (middle aged men in Lycra) out on their bikes. Being in the countryside means that they must be miles from home, which is surely against the rules on local exercise.

What the crisis has shown is that UK farmers are vital in feeding the nation when imports are down and supplies are running low due to stock-pilers. I hoped that some respect would return and farmers would not feel so isolated from the rest of the UK population, being blamed for everything under the sun. However, the farming press headline today was the young dairy farmer who was kindly delivering milk to isolated and vulnerable neighbours, only to be abused online by anti-dairy vegans threatening the safety of his young family! The world has definitely gone nuts!

Whilst I am not advocating stock-piling, please make sure that you have enough food in store for your poultry. Most of the feed merchants are now closed at weekends and Mole Valley Farmers in Cirencester is limiting purchasers to two bags of feed each. Fine if you have a couple of hens but it means more driving around if you have more.

The Committee has once again organised some very entertaining meetings since the last edition of the Quill. Thank you again to all of our knowledgeable and eloquent speakers.

In December Mark Ball returned to give us another talk on Taxidermy, bringing some examples of his work, together with those of other club members. Rather than going through the process of preserving and stuffing an exhibit, Mark discussed the history of the Art from Victorian times with general discussion and audience participation.

Unfortunately, work commitments meant that I missed the January meeting where vet Tom Dutton gave the club a talk on how to prevent disease in backyard poultry. However, I received good reports about the talk.

The February meeting was a lovely talk by Geoff Taylor on cage and aviary birds, together with several live exhibits of his birds. The talk led to a lively discussion with several club members adding their experiences.

The Club Members Show was held at the beginning of March, just before the lockdown, so we were lucky that it was able to go ahead this year, after previous cancellations due to Bird Flu and bad weather. There is a full report later in this issue but I would like to thank Ken and the rest of the committee for a very successful show, and everyone for helping set the benches up the night before and taking them down once the show ended. The judges were very good and were very pleased with the high quality of the entries.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel the April talk on showing eggs by Karen Elliott due to the lockdown, but hopefully we can rearrange this to a later date.

The Egg Show, Quiz and Fish and Chip Supper has also been cancelled, which is a shame as I have already completed my quiz slides! They will have to wait until next year if we can’t rearrange it for later in the year.

I hope that we are able to have our club outing to see Crocodiles of the World in June. That should be something different!

The exhibition season is going to be hit hard this year. Already cancelled are the Oxfordshire Young Farmers Club Rally, Stroud Show and the Glos Steam Extravaganza. The remaining exhibitions, according to their websites, are still planning to go ahead but we will just have to wait and see. It will be a long time before we can return to normal.

Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for updates on how the Coronavirus restrictions progress. We will also email you when more is known.

Wishing you all the best. Keep safe.

John Smith. Chairman and Exhibition Secretary.


John Knibbs

It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of John Knibbs of Ramsbury. He was our Club Chairman from the AGM at the start of the 2005/6 club year until the end of the club year in October 2008. He was renowned for his exhibition quality Rhode Island Reds in both bantam and large fowl. I still have one golden oldie left, and yes she was on the nest box yesterday laying as usual. I have lost count how old she is. Those of us who have been long standing members remember having our club barbeque at an area of land near his home that housed his poultry. We also remember John for the good quality plants that he also grew on his land and sold to members. Dick and I had a Christmas card from his wife Yvonne as usual and she said John had had a bad year last year. John ended his days in a home in Purton.

Les Cheesley

Sadly, I also have to report the death of Les Cheesley, husband of Ruth. Ruth and I both joined the club together many years ago. Les had to endure Ruth and I heading off to all the many poultry shows in winter, and yes, all the exhibitions during the summer months. Ruth is still a member today, and is renowned for her Sebright bantams.

Reports by Margaret Gardner.

Wednesday 14th October

Annual General Meeting

Elect your committee & Your chance to have your say

Suggest future meetings.


Photographic competition

Editorial Ramblings

This is turning out to be a very strange year, for the first time since being five years old I have not been able to have a holiday away from home. Let’s home this pandemic will fizzle out and we can all get back to living a normal free life. It’s not all bad; my back garden is the tidiest it has been for several years. It has been hard work as every row of digging has produced a bucket full of Bindweed and other invasive roots. That will teach me to not neglect my vegetable patch! Covid 19 has also put paid to my birdwatching expeditions so I have to be content with what I see on my permitted exercise walk on local foot paths over farm land. Recently, I entered the field during the evening and I could faintly hear a sound resembling a bell type burglar alarm. When I moved closer I realised that it was the song of a Grasshopper Warbler, a sound I hadn’t heard for over 20 years. Sadly it was only there for one night and it carried on singing continuously well into the night. The Swifts are back, dead on cue for Cirencester, 8th May. I always look forward to seeing them whizzing around like miniature jet fighters screaming as they go. Finally, I hope we can all get back to our normal lives soon and we are able to resume our 2019/20 programme of events.

Ken Cservenka. Show Secretary and Editor.


Bumper Fun Book Corner

It is with great sadness that I have to mention the loss of a few local businesses as a result of COVID-19. A local bra manufacturer has gone bust, a submarine company has gone under, a manufacturer of food blenders has gone into liquidation, a dog kennel has had to call in the retrievers and a company supplying paper for origami enthusiasts has folded. Interflora is pruning its business and Dynorod has gone down the drain. The saddest one though is the ice cream van man found dead covered in nuts and raspberry sauce. He couldn't take it any more and topped himself.

Seasonal Reminder

If using a broody hen for hatching a new generation of chicks, make sure she is absolutely free of mites and lice. She will be sitting almost continuously for 21 days and could get very uncomfortable with a heavy burden of mites and will also pass them on to the chicks that may not be strong enough to cope.

The broody hen may sit so tight that you will need to remove her from the eggs for a water, feed and toilet break. Also a broody hen with eggs must be separated form the rest of the flock.

Seasonal Recipe



12oz   Plain Flour
8oz     Butter
4oz     Caster Sugar


Blend together and put in 2 lined sandwich tins.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until lightly browned.
Margaret Gardner

Editorial Deadline for next issue

Saturday 22nd August 2020

(01285) 656480

Show Reports

The federation Show, Stafford

Nicola Ravensford entered her Dorkings and achieved best red cock and best red hen.


For Sale

Large Silver Grey Dorking

Large Utility Light Sussex

O. R. Gardner 07974 740909

Gold Sebright pairs and trios

Silver Sebright

Quail D’Anvers pair

R Cheesley 01793 762780

Guinea Fowl and Pekin Bantams.

Sean Creed. 07757 618980

Nankin Bantam pairs.

Ken Cservenka. 01285 656480



Runner Drake, either Black or Apricot.

Ann Creed. 01453 882923

Preventing disease in backyard Poultry


For our meeting on Wednesday 8th January, avian vet Tom Dutton gave us some good advice regarding preventing disease in our birds.

Respiratory diseases

are usually as a result of overcrowding and bad husbandry, mixing ages, adding replacement birds, showing and not following good bio-security practices are contributory factors.


should have good ventilation without draughts and bedding ideally should be a low dust product. Regular cleaning and replacement of bedding produces a low ammonia environment in the house. Adequate perches should be provided to reduce stress as does plenty of room around the drinkers and food.

The risk factors involved in showing

include stress due to the close proximity of other birds and transporting them to and fro from the venue. On return from the show it is a good idea to quarantine the birds away from but in sight of their usual

flock. However, they could be further stressed when they are returned to the flock as pecking order will need to be re-established. All of the above also applies after purchasing a new bird.

Pay attention to good


Be careful about who you allow near your birds, they may have come from premises where disease is present. Conversely your birds may spread disease via your visitor.

When handling and cleaning out your birds it’s a good idea to wear separate clothes and use equipment kept especially for that purpose. Cull any infected birds and with good husbandry and hygiene practices it is possible to build up a disease free flock.

There has been a lot of talk about Avian influenza in recent years with high

pathogenic strains such as HPA1 causing whole flocks of commercial poultry being culled. Low Pathogenic strains such as LPA1 are not so serious. However, prevention is better than cure so flocks should be registered with Defra. Birds should be kept separate from wild birds, Water and feed containers should be kept as clean as possible and separate clothing and hand hygiene practiced by the poultry keeper.

Another relatively common disease is

Marek’s Disease an oncogenic herpes virus.

Transmission is by inhalation and it is highly infectious.


is another relatively common disease with lots of species. It can cause

heavy losses in young birds. Signs include ruffled feathers, huddled together and blood in faeces.


there are two types; Roundworms Ascaridia galli and Hair worms Capillaria.

Scaly Leg Mite

can be painful for the bird and is a welfare issue.

Red Fowl Mite

can cause heavy losses if allowed to build up to plague proportions and are prevalent in the summer and can be found in perch sockets and joins in the wood during the daytime as they climb oto the bird at night.

Northern Fowl Mite

live on the bird and can be found mostly around the vent area. These are usually found in huge numbers during the winter months.

Club Diary Dates

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID 19 Corona Virus all events are suspended

until further notice subject to advice from the government. See below for events that haven’t been officially cancelled. Refer to the CPPC website and or email notifications as and when we know more.

Wednesday 9th September - Paul Morgan

A talk on Spanish Fowl and work of new breeder group – Live props.

Wednesday14th October – Club AGM

And Photographic competition.


Sat/Sun 11th and 12th July – The Cotswold Show, Cirencester Park.

Saturday 5th September – Moreton in Marsh Show.

Sunday 13th September – Frampton on Severn Show. 

From the President’s Perch

We are living in very strange times, never before have I not been allowed to go to Church, School or Pub just because of some Chinaman eating some exotic meat. It has changed the WHOLE WORLD not just a few countries and I am afraid that we are going to take a long time to recover economically from it. I hope that you are not suffering the dreaded lurgy and have not lost your job permanently. Chin up, chest out and keep smiling.

 I am sorry I did not make it to the Members Show, I was a little under the weather and decided not to risk it and possibly pass anything on to you all. I hear it went well to which I thank Ken and all the committee for all their hard work. Please read full report in “The Quill”.

With this enforced containment that we are under now, it does give us the chance to catch up on the jobs we have put off from lack of time, think of the exercise and the weather has been kind for a change. Without the exhibitions to go to we can concentrate on our breeding programmes and hope to reap the results in hopefully next year.

 Some sad news just reached me that our Past Chairman has died. John Knibbs from Ramsbury has not been in the best of health for some time and at this time I do not know any details. Our sympathies are with his family. One of John’s highlights of his poultry exploits when he was chairman was to win Show Champion at the Bath and West Show. A great honour and achievement for him.

 I do not know when we shall meeting up with you all again but keep your spirits up and we could all sing The Chicken Song for a laugh? I thank Ken for keeping you all informed and getting on and issuing “ The Quill”. In the meantime I am thinking of you all.


The committee 2019-2020

President                       Neil Harvey

Chairman and Exhibition Secretary     John Smith

Vice Chair                     Sandy Lee

Treasurer                       Kathleen Harrison

Secretary                       Margaret Gardner

Show Secretary and Editor Cotswold Quill   Ken Cservenka

Trophy Steward             Charlie Berry

Committee                   Sandy Lee

                                        Richard Burford

                                        Sean Creed

                                        Pam Bailey

Website:                         Sandy Vaughan

The views expressed in this Newsletter by individual contributors are not necessarily those of the club committee.

Editorial Deadline for next issue

Saturday 22nd August 2020

(01285) 656480