Baby animals and bison bull debut at Royal Easter Show

Samantha Lock |

More than 700 baby animals will star in the popular farmyard nursery at the Royal Easter Show.
More than 700 baby animals will star in the popular farmyard nursery at the Royal Easter Show.

The animals are primed, bales of hay stacked and arenas prepped for Sydney’s Royal Easter Show which is expected to be the biggest yet.

More than 700 baby animals are expected to strut their stuff at the farmyard nursery, a firm fan favourite that routinely attracts the most visitors.

Organisers say the exhibit has grown by 30 per cent to accommodate a larger crowd this year.

Ahead of gates opening on Thursday, a duck and a chicken squabbled over parenting an abandoned clutch of eggs. 

“One of the ducks went broody and stole and then sat on some chicken eggs,” nursery farm manager James Kemp said of the farmyard fracas. 

“But ducks have a higher body temperature than chickens so she would have cooked the eggs.”

However, the determined duck has continued to parent one of the hatchlings born at the exhibit.

“Now we have a bilingual chicken,” Mr Kemp said.

It’s just one of the many things the Queensland farmer needs to a keep an eye on over the next 12 days, including supervising “a naughty pen” for some of the more boisterous animals who “need a time out”.

All the animals are hand-raised specifically for the show.

“It’s better for their welfare,” Mr Kemp said.

“You can’t just grab an animal from a paddock. These animals are spoilt rotten … they don’t like going home.”

The Speckle Park cows are also pegged to be a crowd-pleaser as this year’s cattle featured breed.

“They’re so pretty people often overlook their beef potential,” said exhibitor Steve Atkins from Cundletown on the NSW mid-north coast. 

Just to prove looks aren’t everything, the black and white speckled cows originally from Canada boast superior yields, marbling and premiums.

“We’re trying to breed the next great cow,” Mr Atkins said.

Arabella Randle, a 16-year-old also from Cundletown will debut a two-month-old calf named Gotcha Spotlight at one of the parading events this year.

“It’s about making the animal feel comfortable,” she said.

But the newest show resident set to thrill and excite is Rawhide the seven-year-old bison bull at the centrepiece of the Rooftop Express Show.

His owner and horseman Dave Manchon said the animals help horses move stock and are used in the Australian sport of campdrafting.

The Country Women’s Association of NSW is celebrating a milestone this year with the 75th anniversary of its much-loved Tea Room.

A whopping 4000 scones are expected to be served up each day with volunteers hoping to beat the record of 53,872 scones sold.

About 900,000 people are expected to visit the show from Wednesday to April 17, with ticket pre-sales reaching a record high.