Monday, June 18, 2012

Adventures at the Strawtown Auction...

One of the buildings at the Strawtown Auction
Last Thursday evening, my friend Mary and I made the trek up north to the Strawtown Flea Market and Auction.  It's an interesting place that is a little north of Noblesville.  They are open on Thursday's during the day for their flea market and then the auctions start around 6pm ish.

One of the things that I really like about this particular auction is that they also sell livestock.  I've been wanting to get a couple of girls for Zeus to breed him with for Capons and to sell the new hens at the markets and it seemed like it might be a good place to check before I ordered them from a hatchery.  They run a LOT of animals through there.  No photos though because they have a strict rule of not taking pictures or video of their livestock auctions.

I was successful!  I bought four Barred Rock chicks.  I'll keep two of the pullets and had made plans in my head to sell the other two pullets as soon as they were relaxed enough to handle it.  They are about 8 ish weeks old and are feathered out pretty nicely.

The four chicks from the auction.
The new chicks were kind of skittish but then again, if I had been through what they were at the auction house, I'd be skittish too.  Chickens have an internal clock that tells them to go to sleep when the sun goes down and these guys were ran through the auction block at about 9:30pm so they were awake WAY later than they should have been.

They originally looked at me like I was a werewolf and were scared to death to even come near me.  When I reached into the cage to get them, they started screaming bloody murder and huddled back into the corner.  It didn't take long for the four of them to relax and it appeared that they started to actually like seeing me.  Or the food I brought them... I think it's a toss up but I was glad when they finally calmed down because they really are sweet chicks.  Or so I thought anyway.

Yes, they are livestock but I'm the steward for their lives and quality of life for however long they are with me and no matter what their fate, for the time that they are with me, their lives will be good.  Good animal husbandry makes for a happier hen that lays better quality eggs or a tastier meatie.  It's the way it should be.

I've never seen the logic in man handling livestock for the simple fact that I think it scares the hell out of the animal and causes them undue stress.  When an animal is freaked out, they are harder to handle to begin with.  They freak out because they are scared.  Let me slam you into a cage by your neck, your feet or you wing and see how much you like it.  Or, I could pick you up like I have a heart and put you into the cage a lot easier because you aren't freaking out, flapping your wings and screaming because you are scared.  It just doesn't have to be that way and I hate seeing it.  Maybe I'm crazy but it just doesn't seem logical to do that in my brain.

Anyway, the auction was awesome and we saw quite a few really neat animals go through there including rabbits, pea fowl, ducks, quail, chickens, goats, sheep, calves, a burrow and they even sold a few dozen turkey and duck eggs for hatching.  I've been to this auction and bought things before but this was my first experience buying livestock there.  As long as these four chicks do well, I'll probably buy from there again.  The meaties looked really nice so it's another alternative than buying them from the hatchery.

Since they had calmed down, I decided to go ahead and list the pair that I wasn't going to keep for sale on CraigsList.  They were listed for about an hour when I received the first phone call and that family bought the two chicks.  Interestingly enough, I received a call back from them the next day.  They had dialed the wrong number and were meaning to call another individual that they had purchased a Bantum rooster from.  The two Barred Rock pullets are bullying the full grown rooster and the rooster just isn't happy so they wanted to return him.  I didn't say anything but in my mind, I thought it was a bit funny that a full grown rooster was being bullied by two eight week old chicks.

I already named the two that we are keeping.  Since they are Zeus' girls, I figured that Hera and Juno were appropriate names for them.  Hera was Zeus' wife in Greek Mythology and Juno was what the Romans called her.

Here they are the next day enjoying a little sunshine and scratching in the dirt:







I'm hoping that this time next year, I'll be showing you pictures of Barred Rock Capons and pullets.  This chicken breed has quickly become my favorite.  It might be the interesting black and white pattern of their feathers combined with the red combs and waddles.  To me, they have an old timey look to them.  Not to mention that Zeus has got to be the coolest rooster EVER!

Happy Monday my friends!

*hugs*

~Lanie

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