WINDSOR — Ryan and Ethan Pullen have hundreds of poultry and waterfowl, many of them rare and award-winning. But only one of them, Lucky the duck, spent the first three months of its life following Ryan around inside the family’s home. That ended shortly after the Oakland family discovered Lucky’s taste for mom Tammy’s diamond earrings.

The teenagers, who had several different types of birds competing for awards in the poultry show on the first day of the annual Windsor Fair Sunday, specialize in call and runner ducks, African geese, fancy pigeons, quail and a variety of rare poultry. Their birds are award-winners, earning ribbons across the state.

Ethan, 16, and Ryan, 14, do eat chickens occasionally, but not their own. Their show birds, they said, are their pets.

Perhaps none more so than Lucky, a gray call duck that was the only survivor out of a clutch of six eggs. Lucky bonded with and attached herself to Ryan, following him everywhere, even into their home. The duck lived inside their home for about three months, during which Lucky made multiple, unsuccessful attempts at eating the earrings of Tammy, who also raises birds with her sons.

“The duck thought he was momma,” dad Chuck Pullen said of Ryan and Lucky the duck Sunday morning as judges looked over some of the Pullens’ birds entered in the Central Maine Bird Fanciers Club contest.

Eventually the Pullens put Lucky outside with the rest of their flock, and she slowly adapted to life as an outdoor duck.

Among the birds they showed Sunday were Ethan’s rare Arabian trumpeters.

“They’re the only ones I know of in New England,” Ethan said of the birds, which come in a variety of colors.

Between all the family members, the Pullens estimate they spend about four hours a day caring for their birds, not counting weekend-long projects like cleaning out the barn.

Chuck Pullen said it is a good hobby for the boys, keeping them outdoors and busy.

Ethan said he started with a few laying hens and it grew into a fun hobby.

“I like the excitement of birds being judged and trying to breed the perfect bird,” he said. “A lot of it is pairing the best bird to the best bird. But sometimes the result is, like, the worst bird. You never know for sure.”

Ryan said he likes trying to create new colors of birds by breeding two different colors together. He said the resulting color can be hard to predict.

Judge Linda Blackman, of Waldoboro, a licensed American Birding Association poultry judge, said judges score birds based on how they conform to breed standards, scoring in three general categories of type, variety as determined by color, and the condition of the birds’ health and appearance.

“It’s similar to dog shows, except we don’t put a collar and leash on them and walk them around,” Blackman said, smiling.

Sunday’s poultry show was open to all ages, and adults and kids competed against each other for awards.

The poultry show is just one part of the fair’s emphasis on agriculture with competitions and shows for other farm critters including goats, sheep, horses, ponies, donkeys, oxen and cows.

“At Windsor, we have more than the average fair, as far as agricultural events and animals go,” said Tom Foster, president of the fair. “We have a lot of events at the agricultural center to help educate people about agriculture and the fact milk comes from cows, not Hannaford or Shaw’s.”

Events at the fair Monday, which is Woodsman Day, are scheduled to include lumberjack competitions, beano, the Maine State Holstein Show, steer and oxen log twitching, and a four-wheel-drive pickup truck pulling competition.

Monday, as well as Thursday, is also senior citizens day with their admission reduced to $3 from the adult admission of $8. Thursday is also veterans day with military veterans getting into the fair for free.

Kids younger than 16 get in free each day.

Foster said there is entertainment at the fair every day and night.

Performances over the run of the fair include those by musicians Walter Weymouth, Poulson Sisters, Steve and the Good Ol Boys, Cowboy Angels, The Rockit Band, Full Drive Band and Present Company.

Comedian Bob Marley and a fireworks show will be featured Friday night.

Each day of the fair also features harness racing with betting available track-side.

Monster truck shows, which Foster said have been very popular in prior years, are planned Saturday and Sunday.

Foster said the weather looks pretty good and encouraged people to come check out the Windsor Fair.

“It’s generally a good (weather) forecast for the week, and we’ve got a lot going on every day,” he said.

The fair’s gates open at 9 a.m. each day, and its midway of rides and games opens at 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday and at noon Friday to Labor Day Sept. 7, the final day of the fair.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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