THE region's finest fowl were on display in Warwick at the weekend, as poultry enthusiasts from around the Southern Downs and beyond came to town for the Warwick Poultry Club's young bird show.
The show is the first of 2018 for the club, Queensland's oldest, in existence since 1905.
Chief steward for the show, and long-time club secretary Terry Politch said the turnout was impressive.
"For this show we received somewhere in the number of 300 entries," he said.
"That's fantastic for a show like this and people have come in from all over, as far as Nanango, Glen Innes and the Northern Rivers area.
"We're very happy with the turnout and the quality of the birds on display today, as were the judges."
Mr Politch said birds were judged to specific Australian standards for poultry judging.
"There's a points system for each breed and the judging varies accordingly," he said.
"For example, game fowl might be judged more for handling capabilities and leg position, while a soft-feathered bird will be judged more on its laying qualities.
"The birds in this competition were loosely grouped in to either soft-feathered or hard-feathered sections."
Mr Politch said great care and discipline were needed when rearing show birds.
"The overall look and quality of the bird is very important as well," he said.
"They must be looked after very careful.
"A couple of broken feathers can mean the difference between winning and losing."
Mr Politch said the poultry showing community was a tight-knit one.
"It's a very social community, with lots of long-time friends heading to shows, not only to show their birds but also to catch up with the many friends they've made on the circuit across the years," he said.
"It's a cheap hobby too, unlike showing horses or sheep and cattle, anyone can do and it's a great leveller, bringing people from all walks of life together united in a common passion."
The Warwick Poultry Club meets at the Warwick Showgrounds once a month.
Their next major show will be held on June 17 for all fowl of all ages.
Mr Politch said he was expecting upwards of 600 entries for the event.
The exhibitor with the champion bird of show on Sunday was Terry's son Andrew, with his partridge pullet.
The junior Mr Politch has been showing birds since he was a child, spurred on by his father's involvement.
"And because we've been doing this so long, Dad and I are pretty competitive when it comes to competition," he said.
"I beat him today, but often enough it's the other way around."
Andrew's older brother Keirin also shares the family's poultry passion.
"When the three of us travel away to shows, it wouldn't be unusual for us to take 40 birds along," he said.
"I've only brought six along today, that's all I had ready in time for this show."
Ten-year-old Cobey McInnes from Pilton was also a big winner on the day, winning the champion junior exhibitor award.
"My mum got me into showing birds," he said.
"I enjoy it and it's great when you win.
"I've been doing this for about a year now and I can see myself doing it for a while yet."