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Royal first for breeder

Saint Germains’ Charles Smith recently won the prestigious Supreme Champion in Show award at the 2014 Royal Melbourne Poultry Show.

ALEXANDRA BATHMAN July 22, 2014 3:20am

Charles Smith with his show-topping pullet and her trophies.


Saint Germains’ Charles Smith recently won the prestigious Supreme Champion in Show award at the 2014 Royal Melbourne Poultry Show.

Mr Smith’s black Australorp pullet was plucked from more than 1600 other birds to be considered the pinnacle of the Australian poultry industry.

While Mr Smith has three other varieties of fowl — white Wyandottes, partridge Wyandottes and silver pencilled Wyandottes — he also milks 450 cows on his 404ha property.

‘‘During the drought I was very stressed and I needed something to take my mind off the farm. My wife Carolyn suggested I buy some chickens — and me being me, I took it that one step further,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘When I’m around the fowl I’m far less stressed about the daily grind and everyday runnings of the farm.’’

Mr Smith’s interest in chickens began when he was about seven years old before he started working on the family dairy farm at Zeerust.

While Mr Smith’s grandparents and parents used to show cattle at the royal show, this was his first entry at the prestigious event.

It’s fair to say he ruffled more than a few feathers.

‘‘Not only did I come first overall, but the birds who came second and third in the same class were also mine,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘There were 14 birds in this particular class — and guess who happened to own some of the other birds? The breeder I bought my birds off!’’

Mr Smith first purchased his birds from George Norman from Benalla who had been showing and breeding poultry for 60 years.

‘‘He was happy for me though because he knows what it takes to win and it was still a testament to his breed,’’ Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the quality of Mr Norman’s fowl was a reason why his reigned supreme.

He said it took strong dedication to day-to-day feeding to produce a champion chook, and his sons Hamish and Alex were learning the ropes.

‘‘It’s become a good common interest for me and my sons,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘My son Hamish is breeding the white Wyandottes and he just won best in his section in a junior poultry show.’’

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