There’s a new local poultry auction on in Rydal that a friend has been saying we should check out. The friend in question is a expert breeder and travels far and wide for a good bird and we were inclined to believe her. We told ourselves we would just go to the auction to catch up with J check out the birds and NOT buy anything unless is fit in with our current breeding programs.
So on Sunday morning we got up early rugged up and packed the kids into the car for the drive. when we arrived we reinforced to ourselves this was NOT a buying trip just a looking trip. After some catch ups we did our first loop of the birds. I was really impressed with not only the quality but the variety of birds. Lots of different breeds of Geese, Ducks, Cockatiels, Budgies (Parakeets for you Americans) , Finches, Quail, Guinea Fowl there were a lot to choose from and with over 100 lots we knew we wouldn’t stay to the end this time. So before I go any further I’ll give you a bit of back round.
Currently we have reduced our breeding program to Gold Laced Wyandottes and Araucana. When we first started in Poultry a few years ago we got very excited and wanted all the breeds at once as many newbies do. We ignored the advice of experts to start with one breed and instead got Plymouth Rock, Brahma, Wyandottes, Blue splash Orpingtons and Araucana. I’m not sure what we were thinking as lots of breeds mean lots of pens so slowly but surely we have reduced and now will concentrate on two breeds. We still have a few hens of the other breeds for the house flock as broodies and layers and may cross them for meat chicks.
Below one of our Gold laced Wyandotte and Araucanas (orpington up back)
So back to the auction. There were a few lots we liked the look of three of Araucana and one Gold laced Wyandotte pullet. I didn’t want to pay much for either of the lots as we don’t NEED them but I thought if they go cheap then we will get them. First up at the auction were the small birds. Budgies and finches went up first and sold for $2 each!!! D and I looked at each other should we get one! But no where would we put it? Surely the cats would eat it. We held back shocked at how cheap they went. The first few lots of Quails went up and also went for $2 each. hmm we’ve always wanted quail. The auctioneer went to the 4th box and before we knew what we were doing we had bid and won 4 quails for $12! Luckily we had a spare cage for them at home but we really knew nothing about quail.
The lots for the birds I liked came and went selling for much more than I wanted to spend but we thought we would stay a little and see what other things went for. Once again I found myself bidding when a lot of Silky chicks went up for $2 a bird. I was outbid but at $9 D nudged me and said I could go a little higher if I wanted. I didn’t expect to get them but SOLD I got the 4 for $40 the lot. We looked at our birds and thought now was a good time to leave before we bought anything else (D was eyeing off the guinea fowl)
Now our story doesn’t end there. The Silkies which I suspect are 2 boys 2 girls settled in nicely in the isolation tractor and the quail in there little house. We had no idea how to tell them apart so we did some research on how to sex quail. Once D had done this we discovered 3 roos and one hen. OF COURSE! We also read we would need a extra 2 hens per roo to keep them happy which resulted in another adventure getting 6 more quail hens to balance it all out. So now we have a upcoming silky and quail breeding program.
Let the fun begin!!
Below Cher a silky X Isa one of the first chickens we hatched ourselves