Royal Launceston Show 2017 animal nursery the next generation of agricultural history

Feathered friends: Bird handler Emily Mountney with Gomez and Cyril, at the Royal Launceston Show animal nursery. Picture: Paul Scambler
Feathered friends: Bird handler Emily Mountney with Gomez and Cyril, at the Royal Launceston Show animal nursery. Picture: Paul Scambler

Everyone loves animals, and it’s easy to see that the animal nursery at the Royal Launceston Show is a natural successor for children and families who may once, years ago, have been out in the show ring with their champion livestock.

The animal nursery had a host of happy families, young and old, walk through the shed that was a temporary home to lambs, goats, donkeys, horses, pigs, ponies, guinea pigs, cats, and even rare parrots.

Jo Wilson, from Launceston, had her two donkeys Jade and Pip there for the enjoyment of families, along with a one-year-old filly who was orphaned last year, and several lambs.

She said having the range of animals available to be seen and touched by young children sparked several conversations about the animals ages, history and even what they were, giving children the opportunity to learn and listen.

RELATED STORIES

It’s been very busy and so successful ... last year there were not as many people.

Jo Wilson, animal handler

“It’s been very busy and so successful,” she said.

“Last year there were not as many people.”

Another key stall that drew plenty of visitors was Just Cats Tasmania, giving visitors a chance to adopt a cat in need of a new home, and learn more about the importance of desexing and vaccinating.

Operated by volunteers June Cameron and Caralyn Walker on Thursday, Just Cats had several inquiries and, Ms Walker said, had plenty of opportunity to talk with children about the importance of desexing and microchipping.

“Especially we explain to them, what if the cat gets lost, if they aren’t microchipped you might not find them,” she said.

But while the kid goats certainly drew a crowd, and the sleeping piglets some mirth, it was three exotic birds on display that offered the most attraction.

Brightly-coloured Cyril, a macaw from South America, along with red-tailed black cockatoo Gomez from Western Australia and spectacular red parrot Daisy were at the show with owner Rachel Ackroyd as part of Seedhouse’s feature stall.

Seedhouse, a specialty livestock feed company, sponsored the animal nursery this year after being invited to the show last year.

Ms Ackroyd said the birds had been a huge draw for visitors who enjoyed a chance to have Cyril sit on their shoulder and pose for photos, or patting Gomez’ spectacular black and red plumage.