Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Poultry Auction and Why I am an Idiot

I am.

After about 15 years of going to this auction, I LET my BRAIN run away with me!

First off, I left about 30 minutes late, and really wanted to see if I could snag an incubator this year.  Of course, the equipment had already started, and I saw no incubators at all.  I was also stunned that there were so few lots for sale... usually about 1400 cages in the spring, the numbers went up to about 800 or a little more.  (Each lot receives a sale number, and the sale is held in order of the lots).

Here is a view of the barn:

That's a line of cages reaching back in order behind the kids who moved cages for the auctioneer.  The first 50 cages or items were donated for the Heart of America Gamebird Breeders Association scholarship fund.
It was breezy and cloudy out, though the sun came out later in the morning.
Last year's spring sale was on the day of a blizzard.  I imagine you could have gotten some good bargains that day,
Here are some of the birds offered:


Too stupid. Also, I didn't stay to the 500's. 

This is where I stop and explain about the cages.  The sale announcement always says the cages shall allow the birds to stand up and move around, and that there will be no plastic or paper cups attached for food and water.  As you can see... there is not much criticism of cages now.  There were probably 100 laundry baskets with straw in the bottom, birds in them, and wire wrapped all around selling.
There were also many cages so small the birds could not stand up.  Once the birds are checked in, no one goes back to water or feed... or, let's put it like this...many do not go back to water and feed. The ducks, especially suffer at this sale, and this is why I haven't gone for two years.  Also, the gamebirds freak out.  I saw no swans this year, and very few turkeys.  Many, many pigeons of every kind, beautiful birds.
They stop at 1 to auction large animals, but this year, there were very few.. about ten pot bellied pigs, a small goat wether, and two large goats, that was it.
Peacocks that went for 150.00 a few years ago... males.... were now going for 50.00, and some (India blues) went for $35.00.  There was a time that the peacock breeders would have stopped the auctioneer and declared "No Sale".  The cameos and whites went higher, of course. (and the pieds). Top price was still under $300.00.
 I bought some Mille Fleur D'Uccles, to keep the Naughty Girls company.  I saw only one cage of Porcelain D'uccles, and I let them go.  I'll get chicks again. 
Here are the Millies I got:

The hen with the white was by herself... she was 17.00. The other three were a trio... and I paid 15.00 apiece for them, but when I got them home, am not completely happy with them.  The rooster is going to my friend Diane, for one of the 4H kids. 

A blurrier, but closer picture.

And here is the reason I am so stupid.  I let my brain run away.
These are Egyptian Geese. 
Only.... they are not a goose, they are related to shelducks. I thought... "How beautiful!  I'll just put them in the little henyard with that flock".... because I thought they were exotic geese.
Mama mia!
They are described as "vicious" and "agressive"... especially when breeding.  They will attack other waterfowl, and other birds.  Yes, they are gorgeous.... but they are in the 4x4 pen because the remnants of the tarps are still on it, and these birds will go up and OUT. 
As you can see, they are planning a way to get OUT. 
They eat seeds and grasses, none of which I have in the little pen. 
I could find only one place, Feathersite, where someone actually wrote anything nice about them.
I bought some wheat and some cracked corn at the feed store, but I also read some accounts of Egyptian geese sightings all over the midwest, flying with Canadas.
We intended to put them in the bigger pen with the dog house, and the Milles in here, but thank heavens, I came in and looked them up first. It's untarped until tomorrow.
I did give them some lettuce and the outer leaves of the St. Patrick's Day cabbage... plenty of water... poultry pellets.  I'm Craigslisting them tomorrow.  I haven't done anything this stupid for many years, and frankly, I could have spent that money on any number of nice Pekins or calls.
Live and learn, I guess, and never too old to make a mistake.

I had a good time at the poultry auction, though it is much reduced from it's heyday.  I did run into a friend (the one taking the rooster) and she is going to sell me six hens for $5.00 apiece.  That fits the budget.  Even if they are only laying  two or three eggs a week, (each) that's enough for what we want.

There are four poultry swaps during the next six months, and I'll hit a couple of those to find some nice ducks for my retirement.

The pictures of the sale were taken a little surreptiously... they make an announcement as the auction starts that there are to be no pictures or filming.  I put the camera away at that point.  

I'm going to ask Keith to make a little henhouse for the big pen, and that's going to be Millie Fleur land for the summer!

"Let me at 'em!  Let me at 'em!  I'm bustin' out of here!"
(Nuff said)


  1. They are so beautiful, I can see that I might make a mistake like that. Oh well, hopefully you will sell them to someone who can appreciate them for beauty and not personality.

  2. Oops! I didn't make it there until 10, so I didn't hear the announcement about no pics. So I took quite a few (and no one said anything!) You can see them over on my blog if you're interested.

    I'm glad you got the Millies, as they are adorable and gorgeous. I had spent some time admiring them as well, but I was a little concerned about their cold hardiness. Have you kept them before?

    Also, glad to hear that I wasn't the only one that thought some of those cages were much too small. Some of the poor birds couldn't stand up or turn around and that's just awful.

    Sorry I missed you at the auction...

  3. I do the same thing at auctions. Thats why I either don't go that often or when I do, I leave my wallet at home, lol!

  4. Yes, auctions are very dangerous. Way too easy to get caught up in the excitement.

    Good luck with the "geese". They certainly look like they'd like to be anywhere else but where they are!

  5. They are pretty birds, and I wouldn't have guessed they were that destructive and nasty either. I do wish I could find a white male peacock. I terribly miss mine~he was so very handsome.

  6. I saw them at Mcmurray for 187.00 a pair. Perhaps a local zoo would like them? Or an exotic bird collector. They are very beautiful.

  7. Oh man! I have never heard of these. Thanks for the warning and for sharing.


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