Island youth win big at American Poultry Association show

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BY SSI POULTRY CLUB

The Salt Spring Island Poultry Club has continued to make an impact both on the island community and in the national poultry world with its engaged and growing club.  

With more than 100 paying members and almost 350 participants in its online group, the club supports, educates and encourages poultry enthusiasts on the island and across Canada. 

This past weekend the club was able to hold its second official American Poultry Association (APA) event where poultry of all shapes and sizes was brought to be judged by APA judge Ramona Tremblay.

With exhibitors from Kelowna, the Fraser Valley, Saanich, Coombs and Cobble Hill, Salt Spring was able to offer a competitive show, but it was an island teen who took the top title.  

Izzy Nowell is a Gulf Islands Secondary School Grade 9 student who won Champion Junior and Champion Bantam titles for her Rhode Island Red bantam pullet last year, but this year won the show with another RIR hen. Nowell first started entering poultry at the 2014 Salt Spring Fall Fair under the wise eye of Michael Hogan, and with support of judge Tremblay and over the years has continued to improve her flock and her knowledge of the breeds she shows.  

Nowell walked away with Grand Open Champion, Junior Champion, Champion Bantam and more for her one hen, and received Junior Reserve Champion honours for her white Serama pullet. 

It is not common for a junior to take the show, so this was a huge win for Nowell, who will go on to show her birds across B.C. as the events open up this year. 

Reserve Champion went to Bruce Bickle of Coombs with his white call duck, who also took the Champion Waterfowl prize. Bickle dominated the waterfowl category and took home Reserve Waterfowl with his East Indie drake. Bruce was also able to support some growing island poultry keepers by offering various show-quality birds to the community for sale and we are excited to see these birds back at the fall fair in September. 

The island’s juniors were welcomed, many as first-time entrants, and were supported throughout the event by the seasoned keepers. The Salt Spring Island school hatching program produced five champion birds from local juniors. The poultry club hopes to continue this program in the fall, hatching out more quality chickens, ducks and, new to the island, bronze turkeys. 

And no Salt Spring show would be the same without recognizing Best Pet or Best/Craziest Hair. The Best Hair award went to Anezka Sikora for her fabulous Silkie Frizzle. Sikora entered a great variety of Silkies as she continues to develop her flock.

The show was a success in inspiring juniors across the island, and spreading “poultry fever” to local families and farms.  

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