The Art of Professional Chicken Showing

Meet Owen a Chicken Breeder

15 October 2020

Meet Owen a Chicken Breeder

LIKE the models they are, show chooks have a strict beauty regime - even down to a manicure.

Someone who knows all about it is Owen Glover, honorary council steward at the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka).

“Showing chickens is like showing a cow or a horse, we have a standard of perfection,” he said. “When you’re showing you have to prepare in the days leading up. “Depending on the breed and the colour of the chicken, you have to wash them and manicure their nails and clean their feet and legs. “You’ve got to feed for fitness. There’s a fair bit of knowledge involved.”

Owen’s family has been showing in the Ekka’s poultry division for half a century. “This is my 20th year as honorary council steward in charge of the poultry section and my family has been showing on the ground for 50 years,” he said.

In 2018, there were three Glover generations showing on the ground, Owen, his father George and his son Jonathan, all showing different breeds. “Our family has been very fortunate, we’ve won best in show seven times and reserve in show 11 times in the last 50 years at the Ekka, which would equal any record on the grounds,” he said. “I’m retired now but chickens have always been my lifelong hobby; obsession is probably a better word.”

As honorary council steward, Owen manages everything in the poultry section from set-up to judging, to overseeing the maintenance and management of the exhibits. He said kids in particular were big fans of the poultry section of the Ekka. “It is great for the kids; it’s probably one of the few sections on the ground that kids can really interact with and relate to because they’re small animals,” he said.

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For a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your chicken for show, check out the video below featuring Dr Harry from Better Homes and Gardens.