Eager to form heritage poultry club

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Birds of a feather. . . Mataura’s Murray Newton who is holding a rare heritage breed Brahma hen is wondering if there is interest to start a heritage poultry club in the district. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Murray Newton is looking for people who might be interested in starting a heritage poultry club.

For about 70 years the Mataura man has kept and shown breeds of chickens, including Australorps, buff Orpington, Wyandottes and Brahmas.

Belonging to a club had many benefits, Mr Newton said.

“We as a group can help individuals look after their flock by sharing our knowledge learnt over many years.”

The numbers of purebreed heritage chicken varieties were declining and people were using newer varieties to breed with the heritage birds, he said.

“It would be nice to keep the breeds pure as each year the numbers dwindle with no new blood being allowed in from overseas.”

People interested in showing the birds could learn how to prepare their birds. “It pays to know the finer points before showing,” he said.

Others might be interested in keeping heritage birds themselves.

“Between us we possibly have a pool of the heritage breeds that we can provide to people that would like to take up the hobby.”

He had started a similar club in Alexandra and it had been successful.

A meeting to find out what interest there was for a club would be held on February 23 at Mr Newton’s home at 43 Cardigan Bay Rd, Mataura.

For more details, contact Mr Newton on (03) 973-0382.