Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poultry Auction

Well, I'm overdue on posting this update on our trip to the poultry auction last Friday, which I mentioned in my Cage Contest blog post.

After a beautifully warm week, the weekend took a drastic change to a bitter cold north wind, and everyone attending the auction froze their behinds off. However, these are die-hard poultry people who show up each month without fail.

The evening before, we had to catch the two cockerels we planned to sell, (because it is easier to catch a chicken once it has become dark and they have roosted for the night), and put them in the cages to prepare for the next day's auction

As you can see in this pic, Steven ended up having to do some modifications to his cage at the last minute. We found that the birds need a "visible" ceiling to the cage, or else they continually try to fly up and out, hurting themselves and the cage both. So he sewed some canvas cloth over the top, to calm the bird keep him from trying to break out.

Here are the birds, in cage, covered with a blanket, loaded into the back of the truck ready for the drive over. The blanket keeps them calm and kept them warm on this very cold day.

We got there fairly early, and were able to be pretty close to the top of the lot list. There weren't as many lots overall as the previous month (obviously due to weather), but there were still quite a number, and many regulars showed up as normal.

An early shot of the parking lot/auction area before it began filling up. The first row of auction items you can see - this lot will be full before the auction begins. The tractor/horse trailer along the building is the "auction office". I took my photo from pretty far back, as to not offend the Amish who run the auction. They prefer to not have their faces in a photograph. Don't let that sunlight fool you -- everyone was numb with cold.

Here are our two boys waiting for their turn for the auctioneer visit. It is actually about dark before the auction starts at 6 PM, and it was quite dark (working by flashlight) by the time they got to our lot.

Steven was very pleased with how it went. We got more per bird that most any other birds selling there, and more than we had hoped (just under $10 per cockerel). But they are exceptionally nice looking roosters, and they really deserved that. The same guy bought both of them. I don't know if this proved my point (mentioned in the cage contest post), but the bird in my old dilapidated cage did bring 50 cents more than the bird in his cage -- but that is probably just because he sold first, and the guy bidding against the winner quit earlier. :)

And Steven sure did get a lot of offers and comments on his cage! People wanted to know how it was made, what kind of wood was in it, etc. I heard one old man say to another "he must have had nothing better to do that day." *laugh*

And just to end the post - another picture of our new little buck. Just because I think he is so adorable at this age.


Mel, Foxtail Farm said...

Congratulations on the good prices! The one time we went to our auction, no chickens went through so I don't know typical prices around here. I do know that when I offered started pullets for $5 each, a guy drove a couple of hours just to come buy them. So I guess that was a bit low. *laugh*

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh! That little guy IS adorable!