Guest post from Swedish Croad breeder, Helena Spindel
Hi everybody, my name is Helena Spindel, I live in Sweden, and I am one of the few that breeds LF Black Croads here. I was asked by Sue to share my impressions of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a trip to the 2012 Europa Poultry Show in Leipzig. I went with a very good friend, 80 year old Gösta Dahlberg, a very experienced and well-known breeder of ducks here in Sweden.
The journey is over 450 miles, one way, and we had snow, sleet and hail-storms most of the way. I drove all night, and we got there early on a Friday morning. A lot of people were mad because they had opened the doors long before the announced 11.am opening, and the crowds were already building up in the purchase-halls where you could buy all sorts of poultry. I did not spot many Croads, but it was not uncommon for a rooster to cost 100 pounds, or more!
The size of the show was mindblowing and we spent 2 days there before I found the Croads. I was a bit disappointed with what I saw, I reckon that the ones I keep at home are just as good, if not better, both size and quality. But the size of everything, the number of breeds, over 90.000 (yes NINETY thousand) exhibitors, just took our breath away.
By the way, we also managed to eat while we were in Leipzig, and for the first time in my life I ate kangaroo. Best I have ever had. On the Sunday we tried to buy some birds, but it was remarkably disorganized, with many cages marked wrong, so after a few miles of walking in vain, we gave it up as a bad job. We spent 3 days looking at the show and hardly covered half, but we thoroughly enjoyed it and I have already started saving for the next Europa-show, 2014 in France. They have already promised that it will be half the size of Leipzig 2012, and thank goodness for that. The 2016 show is scheduled to be held in Denmark.