Today I attended the Alpine Poultry Club’s Poultry Auction.  What a glorious Autumn day it was in our beautiful North-east!  My aim today was to find some point of lay pullets, in the hope that they would lay well through Winter.  I was seeking heavy breeds which I could later breed some good table birds from.  I was vaguely hopeful that someone might have some fertile eggs for sale, even though the season is well finished, as I would like to run the incubators one more time before Winter.  Unfortunately there were no eggs on sale, but there was a lovely selection of chicken breeds, both bantam and full size, as well as ducks, turkeys and geese.  I was pleased to see 2 pens of Brown Chinese Geese.  These usually sell for $50 or more per bird, but looked like they sold for around $50 per pair.  I used to raise geese and love them, but really do not have a suitable yard for them, so wistfully passed these magnificent creatures by today. 😦  I was also very, very happy to see several pens of my favourite, SIlver Grey Dorking chickens.  They raised a fair bit of interest and I was happy to chat with prospective buyers about this delightful rare breed.  I wonder if the owners realised I had a part to play in the very good prices these birds fetched!  I did bid on a pair of pullets, but they went over my limit.  I also bidded on a trio of young Rhode Island Red chickens, but was again outbidded.  The only chickens I managed to snaffle was a pen of 4, 2 week old chicks.  I paid $16 for them!  They are unsexed, and I have 3 Plymouth Rocks and 1 Silver Laced Wyndotte.

The one bird that won my heart was a very young turkey Tom.  He was so talkative and allowed me to pet him through the cage.  I was the first bidder, at $10, for him, but then I realised, as I do not have any turkeys, he would be very lonely should I win him.  I found a gentleman who breeds and shows turkeys, and we chatted about the 4 very large Toms that were for auction down the end of the row.  Apparently these were show quality birds.  I decided to bid on all 4 as well, so that my little guy would have a friend.  Having never kept turkeys before, I figured they would make excellent table birds should things not work out between us! lol

Things did not all go my way, and I only came home with 2 of the large Toms.  These are show quality Bronze Turkeys, and I have fallen in love.  Bronze Turkeys are listed on the rare breeds trust website as ‘at risk’,  so I am very happy to be a part of the survival of this magnificent breed.  I can’t wait now to find some gorgeous turkey hens for my boys! 🙂

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My new Turkey Toms, T1 and T2
(now (18 April 2012) known as Truffles on the left and Tambo on the right :D)

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