'Why we spend our weekends attending chook shows'

Goondiwindi father and son Dean and Ben Hall spend their weekends keeping chicken competitions alive


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Dean and Ben Hall, Goondiwindi, Qld, entered 60 chickens in the competition at the Warialda Show in a bid to ensure the event continued on.

Dean and Ben Hall, Goondiwindi, Qld, entered 60 chickens in the competition at the Warialda Show in a bid to ensure the event continued on.

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This duo are determined to keep the show movement alive.

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Most weekends you'll find a father and son duo spending time together, maybe heading to a footy match or working on a property.

But for Goondiwindi's Dean Hall and his son Ben, their weekends are spent travelling across Queensland and NSW with their team of show chickens all for a good reason.

At the Warialda show on May 11 about 200 birds filled the competition pens, 60 of them came from the Hall's coop.

"There is about 40 still at home," Dean Hall said.

"We have been coming here for about 10 years. We just come down to support each other. We went to Narrabri last weekend, we also went to Inglewood and Inverell."

The Halls run about 100 birds in total including Silkies, Large Old English, Bantam Old English, Soft Feather Large and Bantam Soft Feather.

They run about 100 chickens in total.

They run about 100 chickens in total.

By day Mr Hall works at the saleyards, does contract spraying and even lawn mowing.

But, it was a passion for birds 11 years ago that fostered his show hobby.

With some small show's stalwart chicken breeders no longer around, Mr Hall has taken it on to travel the long distances and ensure the competitions continue on.

"It's just for fun, I love it," he said.

"Nobody is into it much. It nearly died off here (at Warialda) now that some of the old fellas have gone.

"Inverell is pretty lucky they have probably got a dozen, Narrabri is pretty strong too."

The day before their arrival in Warialda the pair spent about two hours washing and blow drying their animals and prior to judging were spotted cleaning the birds' legs, toenails, feet and heads and ensuring their wing feathers weren't damaged.

"The judge looks at all their feathers, makes sure there is no broken feathers, that they have got enough points on their combs and makes sure they have got a good eye," Mr Hall said.

The secret to breeding a winning bird was not only in a solid grain diet but also the genetics.

The father-son duo were busy prepping their animals the day before the show.

The father-son duo were busy prepping their animals the day before the show.

"I spent $1000 on chooks last week, some from Bathurst and somewhere else just to change my lines a bit," Mr Hall said.

"You will pay up to $1000 for a Silkie rooster. You just start off with good lines, same as cattle, if you don't start right then you are behind."

The duo already had a successful start to their 2019 show circuit, winning Hard Feather and Soft Feather Large champions at Inverell and Inglewood and best Bantam at Narrabri.

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