Local Bird Sales

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.

  1. A New Royal Palm Tom turkey, I am open to getting a breeding pair, but a single tom would be even better.
  2. A Breeding Set or Trio of Qual, plain or fancy is not important to me.
  3. If they have rabbits, Which they have on other years, I am hoping?! that the breeder with the amazing angora rabbits will there.
  4. 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?

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7 Responses to Local Bird Sales

  1. Candace says:

    I would love to raise quail. My Great-Grandfather used to.
    What type of pen do you keep your quail in?

    • Hi Candace

      I am currently housing them in a very large dog crate, but am in the process of building each their own breeding pen, and plan to do a post on it. I will show lots of photos and a breakdown on the cost of the parts, I think everyone will be quite surprised at how easily and reasonable it will be. So stay tuned, I will get the post out sometime this week.

  2. Sylvia says:

    I am here from MD’s blog and just had to see if you had more quail info. I have toyed with adding quail. I also wonder what kind of pen for them and how they compare care-wise to other poultry.

    My favorite breed of chicken at the moment (subject to change) is White Rock. We raised some last year for meat and were very pleased with them. They had wonderful growth (at 14 weeks) and cleaned up beautifully. Two of the 26 cockerel ordered were pullets and we added them to our flock. Such sweet little ladies and good layers. Our winters were quite chilly but these ladies begged to go out each day. Great for colder weather.

    This year we will add more White Rocks for meat and eggs plus maybe a few red sexlinks since they lay so well year around. We are also adding turkeys (maybe) for the first time and toying with a second duck breed (we have Khaki’s now). I do not believe we have bird sales here (I have not heard of them) so my poultry comes from a hatchery as day olds or a friend who incubates and sells as day olds.

    I look forward to spending some time checking out your blog!

    • Hi Sylvia

      Don’t you just love MD’s site, I really like the what did you do this week, I saw your post on water on your site, If you have not found my own post on water on our place, let me know and I will send you a link.. it was very interesting to see how someone else thought it out.

      For the pen, see above comment, I will do a post it and general care and will do updates on breeding. They are very easy care provided they have their needs meet.

      Interesting about the White Rock, that is one breed I have never had, I tend to raise the dual purpose breeds, that can both lay and become a good size dinner, with a few banty hens for hatching eggs.

      Hope you will enjoy poking around the blog and I look forward to seeing what is new on yours..

      • Sylvia says:

        I searched for your water plan and found it. You guys have a great sounding set up! I’d love to have a hand pump and hope to in the future but with only one well I’m not sure it would work as good as yours. How big is your pond?
        My girls would like to get a few banties this year. We had one before and really liked her. I worry that it is too cold here for them (we lived in Oregon when we had one before) but the neighbor has Silkies so I guess they would be okay.

  3. queen of string says:

    We are not zoned for chickens ( an appeal on this failed last year, even though Vancouver allows them 😦 ), so I’m considering illegal quail! I figure that 3-6 quail would make almost no noise, be in the garage for winter and lay enough to keep us in eggs. I’ve never kept birds before but reading around a bit, they look like it might be do able. I am really appreciating your “sales 101” posts, I found some general sales around here, but no farm sales yet, maybe it’s a bit cold yet. Am keeping an eye on the auctioneers that say they do them. Really looking forward to your updates on yours. Ps any tips on cracking quail eggs cleanly, they’re so small DH in particular has problems cracking any we bought at the store.

  4. Pingback: Chicken plans for 2015 | Just another Day on the Farm

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