I got alot of public and private comments when I talked about heading out to my local farm sales.. So today we are going to go to the local Bird Sale or depending on the sale, Bird an Small Animals.
So the day starts early, the sale offically starts at 9am but the doors open for the folks selling at 6am, that means that most of the club members (who typically will have the best birds for sale) will arrive early, each club member will at our local sales can bring a max of # of box’s of birds or sets or breeding trio’s. The number changes a bit per club but around 20 or so is typical.
I’m on the hunt for three main things with a possable 4th.
- A New Royal Palm Tom turkey, I am open to getting a breeding pair, but a single tom would be even better.
- A Breeding Set or Trio of Qual, plain or fancy is not important to me.
- If they have rabbits, Which they have on other years, I am hoping?! that the breeder with the amazing angora rabbits will there.
- The fourth is something I am looking for but have never seen at any local sale so don’t really have my hopes up.. and that would be keets.
There are two main things that I will need to with me, Paper with a pen to write down which lots I am interested in, and mini flashlight to check out the birds in the box’s., as you can see, it can get quite dark in the box and you want to look at the birds condition and always check their feet and combs out. You can see that they give each buyer a lot number and then they write out a card on what is in each box, color, pattern, sex, breeding age etc.
Now its spring, and that means that the prices for the birds will be higher then they were at the fall sales, in a nut shell most folks like to sell or butcher out their stock in the fall so they don’t have to pay overwinter costs, and so they are willing to put some of the “feed” money towards getting good new stock..
Which brings up my next point at the sale, the difference between buyers, there will be buyers that are there mainly to get a few fully grown hens to have fresh eggs for the season and there will be lots of sellers there to meet that demand, there will be buyers for the fancy birds, looking to find a reasonable priced pet bird, and then at least have the buyers will be there for “new blood” they have full size flocks and are not looking for a new laying hen, they are looking for well-breed to that breeds standard, those birds that have been in flocks that are producing show birds but are selling birds that don’t make the cut because of coloring or patterning not being clean enough but who will give those of us who want to improve breast size or egg laying in our own birds can get in one small clucking box years of hard work done by someone else.
So lets see how the sale went.. It was a busy sale with lots of high quality birds, and some very nice looking rabbits, sadly most of them were mini’s with a few good quality meat rabbits but they went for me at least high in price.
I personally thought that the prices on the birds were a bit on the high side on a few things, down right high in regards to duck prices, as an example Indian Runner Ducklings that are typical available on a farm gate sale for 3 to 5 dollars in our local area per Duckling went for a set of 3 for 50 dollars, so 16.60 per ducking.. I typically pay 15 for a Full grown ready to lay or produce duck on a farm gate sale.
The Geese were lovely, but always worth more then I am ever willing to pay, the top breeding set bringing just about $300 in price. As always is there is a high market value placed on peafowl, with the start price of about 50 and a finish price upwards of $200 for those ever so pretty peacocks.
The club that hosts this sale does a good job at having things run as smooth as possable, its a fast paced sale but you never feel like you don’t have time to bid if you want to, and they are very clear on what lot you are on, with a sign that flips, so that is very helpful, and they have a big light that is set up on the one end of the stage, I forgot to take a picture of that, but it gives you one more chance to spot something you might like and to be able to have a good hard look at it.
So I was thrilled to be able to get a box of six plain but very gentle, hand tamed quail, three females and three males to make 3 breeding sets. The little girls had laid their first eggs for me by the time they had arrived home and were settled into their new digs.
There were no Royal Palm turkeys at all, and the rest on my list was out of my planned budget so it was a quail day.
Three Quail eggs equal one regular chicken egg.. They are so cute..
So looking for a way to have a fun day out? Why not check out your local bird sale, there were lots of families with children of all ages, they sell some fresh food but most folks brought food and drink with them, little ones happily had cheese sticks and fresh fruit when watching the sale. So do you go to your local Bird Sales? What are you looking to add to your flock this year? What is your favorite breed of chicken? Turkey? Do any of you own Quails?