The best of the best poultry breeders from across the country set flock to the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition this September

More than 120 exhibitors, making up 1200 entries, will be vying for the coveted Melbourne Royal blue ribbon in the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition – all the more prestigious in 2023 as the organisation celebrates its 175th year.

With a dedicated pavilion for the entire 11 days of the Melbourne Royal Show in September, Michael Holmes, Chair of the Poultry Committee, said the competition is a popular attraction for the public, backyard enthusiasts and exhibitors alike – but it’s the latter who will be on a quest to take home the pinnacle trophy.

“The Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Champion Bird in Show is the one that everyone wants to win, and it always goes on what we call type, which is the shape and outline of that bird to match the breed, and then it goes to colour and condition,” Michael said.

The prestigious trophy was won by Trevor and Denise Dent from Mt Gambier in 2022 with their Black Rosecomb Cockerel.

This year’s feature breed is the Australorp, an Australian breed popular in many backyards around the country. Australorps are known for their calm temperament and their impressive egg laying statistics. In fact, it’s said that an Austrarlorp holds the record for the most eggs laid by a chicken – one hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.

Kevin Collins, president of the Victorian Australorp Club, will judge the feature breed, while Brian Bennett will be judging Specials, Eggs, Field and Forest, and Juniors. Brian has been involved for almost 60 years as an exhibitor and this year’s Melbourne Royal Show will be his 47th time judging poultry at a royal show.

With the Poultry Pavilion set to be home to the highest standards of birds and timeless memories, Michael encouraged everyone to get their entries in for this year’s competition.

“The Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition provides breeders with the opportunity to benchmark their birds, with a full range of Australian Poultry Standard classes available to enter and we look forward to seeing you there,” Michael said.

Judging will be held on Wednesday, September 20, one day prior to the Show opening.


About the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition

One of the most prestigious poultry fanciers competitions in Australia, the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition consistently boasts over 1,200 entries from 120 exhibitors. Poultry will take centre stage with the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition to be located in the Poultry Pavilion for the full 11 days of Show.

For more information about the competition visit