Friday, 2 October 2009
Poultry auction and first egg !
As anticipated the Welsummer pullet - 24 weeks tomorrow - has laid her first egg. I have called her Becky, the hen not the egg, as she is the one with the overgrown beak and Becky sounds kinder than Beaky. She laid in the small ark rather than the nest box, but as there was a queue this morning for the nestbox, she is forgiven. Yes there are plenty of nest boxes for the number of hens, it's just they all prefer the right hand corner space, especially if it is already occupied !
(photo: colour range of eggs, small welsummer pullet egg bottom center)
It is quite apt that Becky laid today as tomorrow is the 'rare and minority breed' poultry auction at Newton Abbott and it was there in March that I bought the hatching eggs from which she came.
The auction is held twice a year, March and October. The March one was the first we had been to and we are hoping to go tomorrow. It will mean getting the livestock fed and watered early, we usually give everything a thorough clean and tidy on a Saturday morning but that will have to wait until the afternoon or Sunday. We will take the dog to a friends for the day and can then set off. ( can you tell I don't get out much and am quite excited ? ) Newton Abbott does hold a fortnightly poultry auction throughout most of the year but the rare breeds one is good as all the birds are inspected and judged. The cages are marked as good quality, standard or faulty so you have some idea what you are buying. Faulty can often mean something as trivial as the bird having lice or maybe the wrong colouring for the breed standard. Unlike the fortnightly auction where you bid price per bird at tomorrow's auction the price is per pen and no pen will sell below £10. There are expected to be at least 450 birds. I am hoping to buy some Cornish/Indian game but when I rang the auctioneers this morning they weren't sure if any had been entered, which will please Mr.Voice of Reason who was/is under the impression that we are just going to look!
I shall take a couple of carrying boxes all the same ... just in case.