Alf And His Fowl
For 80 years Alf Woods has had a love for his two-legged friends
Th Melbourne show kicks off tomorrow and I’m pretty damn excited.
I’m excited because the poultry pavilion is back for the first time in six years.
Fowl lovers from all over the state will converge on Melbourne in the hope of taking out the prestigious ‘best bird in show’ title.
One of those fowl lovers is 91-year-old, Alf Woods.
Alf first showed an "old English game" in the junior’s section at the 1939 show, he was just 11 years old.
80 years on and he still has a love for the beaked variety.
And he couldn’t be happier that the poultry pavilion is back.
"I’m joyful," Mr Woods says. "I’ve been reborn."
He gets to "talk poultry" with "fancier" friends, to educate the public and yarn about when their grandparents kept chooks.
"I’m a chatterbox. I like talking to people. You sit there and you ramble on."
The event has lost none of its thrill for Mr Woods, thirty years ago he reached the top of the pecking order when his black-red old English game fowl won the coveted "best bird in show" award.
He won a rosette and about $50 (it's $375 and a trophy now), but it wasn’t about the money.
"Just the pleasure that I had the ability to breed a good fowl," he says.
A new pleasure is teaching his great-grandsons Hunter and Blair Vaughan, aged four and three, all about fowls in the hope they will carry on the pastime Mr Woods inherited from his father and grandfather while growing up in Essendon.
Next year, when Hunter is five, he can enter the Show’s junior categories.
The boys already help Mr Woods collect eggs every day on the family’s two-hectare property, and Alf teaches them how to feed and hold the birds.
He says birds should be picked up each day so they get used to it.
Be gentle with the chooks and don’t pull their tails, he counsels.
Let adults deal with roosters, which can fly at you if startled.
Alf would like to judge the "best bird in show" award, now called "supreme champion in show", when he turns 100, and he needs more time to impart his knowledge to the great-grandkids.
"Life’s so good. I’ve no doubt I’ll go to 100.”
To see more of Alf and his fowls, tune into The Project tonight.
And go and cheer him at The Melbourne show.