CHUFFED: Kat Harper with her rooster that won champion in the Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam class.
CHUFFED: Kat Harper with her rooster that won champion in the Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam class. Lachlan McIvor

Kat ruffles feathers on show return

KAT Harper first fell in love with birds after the groundsman at her primary school gave her her first chickens.

She showed them as a youngster but after a few of them got stolen, she packed it all in.

It wasn't until last year that the 26-year-old started up again and she has returned to the scene with a bang.

Out of the nine birds she took to compete in the poultry section at the Ekka, she returned home to Thornton with two champions, four first places, two seconds and two third places.

"I got to a lot of ag shows but there's never really a lot of competition in the breeds that I show. I show a lot of rare breeds,” Ms Harper said.

"It's good to compete up against more of the other varieties to actually know where you stand. It makes the effort worthwhile.”

Before the big day, the birds are washed, shampooed, their toenails are clipped and their legs are scrubbed.

"It's a lot of work,” she said.

"You teach them to show too, put them in a show training pen and you feed them and get them to pose. It's a lot more than people realise.”

Her obsession with chickens started at a young age and while her family were not as enthused about them while she was growing up, it is a passion that has preserved over the years.

At the moment, she owns over 100 feathered friends.

"I keep them because I like their personalties, they're all very individual,” she said.

"The different breeds and different varieties have different personalities.

"I like showing because it's very competitive. I like breeding them to do well. I don't sell them, it's more just for my my own hobby.”