ONE livestock section of the action-packed Sydney Royal Show has had families flocking in all hours of the day.
It may not be the first place many people think of, but the poultry section of this year's show has been a hit with city and country visitors alike.
Among the highlights of the action packed schedule was the annual poultry auction, which featured several birds that competed at the Royal selling for as much as $400 or $500, while most offerings sold for about $75 to $100.
The auction may have proved popular with visitors as well as chicken enthusiasts from around the country bidding in person and online, one Australorp proved very popular with the judges.
An Australorp exhibited by Damien Cooper of Ulladulla claimed Grand Champion Bird of the Show in what was an exciting competition.
Leading the charge in helping bring the poultry industry to showgoers was the Orpington Club of Australia, which was one of this year's feature breed.
"From a breed perspective, the opportunity to be the feature breed this year was amazing because our breed is about 150 years old and being featured during the 200th anniversary of the show is honestly just perfect timing," Orpington Club of Australia president Martin Doulton told The Land.
"This year we have probably got the highest amount of exhibitors we've had for decades, or possibly as many as we've had in 100 years.
"There's well over 100 birds exhibited this year with breeders coming from as far away as Victoria, Queensland and the ACT
"A lot of them have not showed here before but they have turned out to support the club, the breed and the Sydney Royal itself."
Mr Doulton said the show had allowed the club a chance to help city people better understand the agricultural sector as a whole.
"It's been fantastic in the sense that people who have come along that might not have seen a chicken before are getting to see it in a flesh," he said.
"For some people their only experience of handling chicken has been buying it at the supermarket, so when they get to see an Orpington, which can weigh seven or eight kilograms, it's an amazing experience for them.
"The biggest thing for me is the looks on the kids faces when they touch a feather for the first time, which is what we have been doing with the display team, to help bridge that divide between city and country people."
Mr Doulton said he was confident the Sydney Royal's poultry section would continue to grow in the future.
"I think it is becoming more and more popular every year and it's proving to be a real highlight of the show," he said.
"It's a real privilege to be a feature breed during an anniversary year like this and I'm sure we will have another strong showing next year."
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