Posted by: debrakolkka | August 13, 2011

Chooks at the Ekka

The annual Royal National Association Exhibition is on in Brisbane now. Everyone just calls it the Ekka. This is where the country meets the city. Animals, produce, machinery, cars and all sorts of other things are on show and looking their best. Over 10 days every August hundreds of thousands of people descend on the show grounds to have some fun and meet our country cousins. 

I am working there every day at the cotton and wool parades, dressing the beautiful models. You may be surprised to learn that I have many offers of help from chaps. We don’t start until 11.00am so I have time to have a look around before I start work.

One of my favourite spots is the poultry pavillion. There are rows of prize winning chooks on show. For those of you who are not Australian, this means chickens. I had trouble getting these critters to stand still for me, so if some of the photos are a bit blurry you will understand. There are dozens of different types and they are all fascinating – well I think so anyway.

who’s looking at who?

a stunning rooster

some are beautiful like this lovely boy

and some are strange

nice comb

set at a jaunty angle

great profile!

some are small and cute

and some big and beautiful

some are curious

and some are shy

some are fluffy

and others not

some don’t look like chickens

not your common chook

I think this one should be in court

it’s in there somewhere


a jaunty cap


this one was posing for the camera

Foghorn Leghorn perhaps?

I think this one looks thoughtful

nice legs

I liked this plain one


the next generation

Birds are descended from dinosaurs. I think the evidence is quite clear.


  1. How gorgeous! The kids loved these pics, thx. I hope to take them on Wed.

    • I hope the weather holds out for you. The show is great this year.

  2. What a GREAT post // fabulous photos

    • Thanks! Some of them look unworldly.

  3. I love the chooks, aren’t they noisy in the pavillion! Quite extraordinary. Love your photos. I want the spotty one.

    • It gets a bit noisy when the roosters crow, but they are pretty quiet really. I’m doing the bulls next.

  4. I loved this post! That red black and white one really does look like a QC in his wig! And Deb dear, could you please come to Sydney and dress me? I desperately need a fashion intervention.. 😉

    • I though that chook looked very QC. I’d love to go to Sydney, I haven’t been there for ages.

  5. Not having looked at chickens in much close-up detail before, I found this gallery of beautiful photos utterly fascinating! They look so interesting and curious and alert – and sooo many different colours and shapes and sizes too!

    • They are amazing looking birds – so much variety in a chook.

  6. Wow–these photos are amazing–truly! This post is incredibly well done, Deb. Who would have ever known there are so many varieties of chickens. Some of those birds are stunning! I totally love this post—————-

    • I love the poultry pavillion. I walk through it on my way to the parades each day. The cats are in the next space. I have spotted some Abysinian kittens.

  7. Such beautiful photos – I do love the legal chooky – can’t you just see the head movements and strutting up and down in a court room – in fact I think I should introduce that one to my girls!!!

    • I’m sure they would love him – and yes, I can see him strutting in court. No wonder cartoonists have so much fun with chooks. Foghorn was always my favourite cartoon. I love the episode where he and the dog fought over Miss Prissy.

  8. Our mother used to keep chooks which were not as exotic as the fellas shown in Debra’s post but they had character (and laid eggs). Amongst them were the bantams, Hermione and the fiesty Harcourt and Rhoda, the Rhode Island Red. Friends stayed over, sleeping in the lounge room and in the morning one said that she had dreamt that birds were walking through the room. She had not dreamt this – Harcourt and Hermione used to strut through the house. Nifta (Deb’s sister)

    • The bantams were mine and they were very cute and laid the cutest little eggs. Rhoda got lousy because she wouldn’t leave her eggs to do a dust bath. How can you have not mentioned Farrington who laid eggs with 4 yolks occasionally? Pete loved the chooks and would guess when they would be about to lay and try to put his hand out in time to catch an egg.

  9. Nice post! Very different from traditional ones. I like the photos!

    • Thanks. I couldn’t resist the chooks.

  10. Amazing pictures Deb. You are quite the photographer

    Pam Proctor

    • Thank you. I had good subjects.

  11. These are FANTASTIC! I love them. Wonderful.

    • They are pretty good looking chooks.

  12. A lovely parade. Great photos!

    • I did have a bit of trouble taking the photos through the bars of the cages.

  13. cackling display! 😉

    • There was a bit of cackling.

  14. Fashion designers should spend time with these chooks for inspiration, they are outrageous as the departed McQueen. If I had any they would live inside my house so they stayed spotless, but it would be a challenge keeping the house spotless.

    • Perhaps a pair of trousers could be designed.

  15. Best place for them is on my plate!
    I kept chickes once. One escaped and disappeared in the bush for about 2 months when it decided to come home looking all the worse for wear. It must have had a tough life out there by herself. Then I found about 30 eggs under the house instead of in the laying box which took me lot of time to build. These had to be removed VERY carefully and disposed of. Have you ever smelled rotten eggs?

    • Poor little things! You need chickens with a better sense of direction.

  16. Deb…you will win a photography award next!

    • Do you know any chickens needing photos taken?

      • yes!

  17. So many great shots in there that would look great as cards.
    Some superb looking chooks.

    • I think the chooks are fabulous. Chook greeting cards, what a good idea.

  18. I always loved the poultry pavilion as a kid and as an adult! Great pics, they’re strange yet stunning creatures. Gosh this post is conjuring up all sorts of great memories from the Ekka with family and friends.

    • I’m at the Ekka every day. I think I enjoy it more now than when I was a kid.

  19. Fab photos. I agree, they’d make good cards. I’m sure the owners of the birds would love to have their photos too!

    • I think the chooks are incredible. I wonder if they are all good egg layers.

  20. hehe I remember taking loads of pics of the birds at the Sydney Royal Easter Show because I was similarly fascinated! They’ve got such amazing plumage!

    • You wonder where all the complication came from and why.

  21. I wa so impressed with this post! It is HILARIOUS and the photos are gorgeuos. I was so exited to see these photos because they are art…..but I showed his nibs and his comment was…..I want to know what they taste lik

    • I suppose that is what they are for, apart from some egg laying.

  22. What about the title “cocky greeting cards” Debra

  23. Your comments about the birds are just as hilarious as the chooks themselves. The pictures are gorgeous. I love Nifta’s tale about Harcourt and Hermione. What is it about chooks that inspire such unusual names for them? When I was a child, we had bantams in our backyard. I thought they were the cutest chickens with the tiniest eggs. We enjoyed mini-eggs for breakfast. Thanks, Deb, your blog brought so many memories.

    • We also had Elizabeth, Phillip, Charles and Anne – a right royal collection.

  24. very cool and interesting.

  25. Oh these are just glorious! I once had a calendar full of fancy chicken photos. I would happily have one full of your photos. I think they are the most wonderful portraits and I didn’t see a blur anywhere. Do they show plates of eggs as well, like they do at English shows? Anyway, thanks these have really made me smile 😀

    • I thought you might like the chooks. I had to wiggle the camera between the wires of the cages. The camera got pecked a few times. I think they are gorgeous chooks. I didn’t see plates of eggs but I will go back for another look.

  26. Oh the cleverness of you! These pics have all the flair of a prize Vogue Fashion spread. Love your work

    • Thanks! I love a pretty chook.

  27. […] models to photograph prize chooks.   a legal chook – he looks a bit like a barrister Click here to see these amazing birds and here to see some very large bulls.   Southbank Parklands was […]

  28. […] took photos last year at the Ekka too. Click here for the stars of 2011. Share this:ShareEmailPrintFacebookLike this:Like21 bloggers like […]

  29. I am Shannon and I am 9 . How can I enter my chook please and thankyou

    • You should contact the RNA (Royal Nation Association) in Brisbane. The Ekka is held in August each year.

  30. […] photographed this prize winning rooster at the Ekka ( a festival where the country meets the city ) in Brisbane last […]

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: