TOP CHICK: Shikira Stehbens takes out 17 awards.
TOP CHICK: Shikira Stehbens takes out 17 awards. Allan Reinikka ROK120619arockysh

The perfect conversationalists are those who don't cheep in

WHEN Shikira Stehbens broke her arm she was forced to put her passion for horses aside and find a hobby of a different kind, but it wasn't long until she found her love for chickens.

Chickens not only fit perfectly perched on her cast, they also made the ideal conversationalist by not saying a thing.

Shikira said their calm nature made them great friends.

"They always listen to what you have to say and don't disagree," Shikira said.

Her passion has paid dividends, with the 16-year-old nabbing 17 places in the poultry section of the 2019 Rockhampton Agricultural Show.

The high school student was at the showgrounds from 6am Wednesday morning preparing the 45 birds she entered, but not even a poultry show gave her the morning off school.

On top of her 17 places, Shikira also won the trophy for most successful exhibitor of the poultry show.

She was chuffed by her achievements.

The awards will join her collection and be kept alongside the 22 awards she won in the poultry competition last year.

Shikira has owned chickens for just three years, but the number has quickly multiplied - at present she owns more than 300.

The Rockhampton teen also runs a bird breeding business, Alkira Poultry Chickens.

She was just one of many exhibitors to enter this year's show.

Emerald pumpkin grower Michael Wills entered his 129 kilogram pumpkin into the competition and took out first place.

He grew just three pumpkins this year but has won an award for all of them.

At the Emerald show he won first prize for the second year in a row with his 130kg pumpkin and won fourth at the Ekka with a 134kg pumpkin.

Mr Wills said watching the pumpkins grow was amazing.

"There's just something about them - the vines grow seven inches over night they're the biggest fruit in the world," he said.

The show will run until Friday night when fireworks will mark the end.



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