The Reed publication Poultry World is celebrating the 140th anniversary of the specialist title; it was launched as The Fanciers Gazette on 11 April 1874.
“The magazine was originally aimed at ‘the fancy’, as an exhibitors’ journal for those with an interest in showing poultry, pigeons, rabbits and dogs,” explains current editor, Guild member Philip Clarke (below). “It was renamed The Poultry World in 1907, as the focus switched to matters just poultry.”
The April edition of the magazine looked back at both how the magazine has developed over those 140 years and, more importantly, how the poultry sector has evolved from what was at most a cottage industry – “a haven for ex-servicemen” – into a thriving, modern food producing sector.
Notable aspects of the anniversary and of the poultry industry generally are recorded on the Poultry World section of the FWi website here.
Of particular note was the magazine’s Eggs for the Wounded campaign during the First World War, which eventually saw over a million eggs a week sent to army hospitals in England and France. The emergence of intensive egg and poultrymeat production when food rationing ended in 1953 was another key development.
“We also revealed the findings of an exclusive survey to establish who and what are “the Greatest” in the history of the sector,” says Philip. “In the ‘people’ category, the turkey sector came out on top, with Kelly Turkeys founder Derek Kelly voted as the greatest living person, while the late Bernard Matthews was considered the greatest person from the past.”
The greatest disaster according to the survey was, not surprisingly, Edwina Currie’s comments on salmonella in eggs in 1988; while the greatest development was the resurrection of the Lion scheme, to repair some of the damage. And the greatest chicken-related song? The Birdy Song, by The Tweets.
As Philip says in his Viewpoint for that edition, it is also ‘business as usual’ for the magazine as he and staff writer Jake Davies, also a Guild member, cover all the news affecting the poultry sector, provide an analysis of the economic contribution of broiler production, present an egg marketing special and publish a technical section packed with useful advice for the modern poultry farmer.