The Maplehurst Chicken Club

The MCC was formed last year by a few people who discovered that they shared a secret interest; they kept chickens. It is a club for nice people  with nice chickens (and maybe a duck or two). Most members are fairly new to chicken-keeping; so find it useful to have others to discuss poultry keeping predicaments. Two heads and someone's chicken book are better than one when it comes to solving these problems. 

Maplehurst, Nuthurst, Copsale and Sedgwick and surroundings areclare skelton the club's catchment area. Currently there is no membership fee, no newsletters and no regular meetings. However, there are occasional get-togethers in kitchens, around chicken houses and visits to poultry events. 

There is an unofficial committee, which includes Janie McClean and Penny Bullen. Clive Warren is Chief Executioner and helps when owners are too emotionally involved to perform the deed. 

The MCC has just had its first show and exhibition. It was a success with exhibitors and spectators who came in their droves.

If you live in the Maplehurst area of West Sussex you are welcome to apply for membership, either via the Nuthurst Society or , or  .

Results of the First MCC Chicken Show.

In conjunction with the Nuthurst Society's annual plant swap the Maplehurst Chicken Club held its inaugural event last Sunday in the attractive setting of the Luska garden. As ever the plant swap attracted a steady flow of local gardeners who exchanged everything from lettuce and tomato plants to tree peonies and oleanders. But unlike previous swaps when green-fingered visitors came, swapped and went again, this year they lingered and there were many serious non-gardeners never before seen in close proximity to a plant. There was great interest in the birds themselves and so many waited for the final outcome of the judging that the host and hostess, Mr and Mrs Pyzer, kindly made teas for everyone. 

As plants were swapped and no money is exchanged at the plant swap there was no entry fee for birds or spectators either. The birds were penned in cages kindly supplied by the Arun Valley Poultry Club and had informative breed details for every bird. (see pictures)

Sheila Pyzer, a long time poultry keeper, kindly took on the task of judging. There was an excellent turnout and it was good to see so many large fowl. The enormous variety of birds competing meant it was a difficult task with and many of the classes took detailed assessment. The Prettiest Legs class had contestants with legs of every shade from yellow to black, eventually Sheila chose a feathered-legged Pekin as her winner. Best Crower was vociferously contested, the judge was looking for volume, a melodious crow of good volume from a cock who could keep it up all afternoon - the Gold Laced Wyandotte cockerel outperformed his rivals. The Bird Most Like its Owner was obviously very close between Sue Heffer's Lavender Pekin and Penny Bullen's Light Sussex Hen: the Pekin just had the edge. Even with such difficult classes all the judge's decisions were accepted without any dispute.

Janie McClean organised the event with the efficiency we expected. The poultry-keeping display included equipment, books and a large (35) clutch of multi coloured day old chicks cared for by a red broody bantam. These were popular with young and old alike. The whole event was a great success and generated a lot of interest in keeping the pure breeds of domestic poultry. Probably more importantly, it was fun and poultry-keepers and gardeners seemed to enjoy themselves.

Many thanks to the organisers and the hosts.


Best Utility 
4 Welsummer x Maran Penny Bullen
7 Welsummer Hens Sally Care

Large Fowl
6 Welsummer Cockerel Penny Bullen
3 Welsummer x Maran Penny Bullen

Best Rescue
13 Commercial Hybrid Jackie Swift

Small Fowl
1 Light Sussex (Small) Sally Care
14 Lavender Pekin Sue Heffer

5 Cuckoo Maran Poppy Reese

Best Condition
10 Wyandotte (Partridge) Clare Skelton
11. Wyandotte (Crele) Clare Skelton

Best Crower
9 Wyandotte (Gold Laced) Clare Skelton
10 Wyandotte (Partridge) Clare Skelton

Most Like its Owner
14 Lavender Pekin Sue Heffer
2 Light Sussex Hen Penny Bullen

Prettiest Legs
15 Lemon Barred Pekin Sally Care
8 Wyandotte (Silver Laced) Janie McClean

Least Like its Owner
12 Black Rock Lillian Fischer
6 Welsummer Cockerel Penny Bullen

Best Tail Feathers
15 Lemon Barred Pekin Sally Care
8 Wyandotte (Silver Laced) Janie McClean

Clare Skelton 23rd May 02clare skelton