I have spent the best part of my day at a weird and wonderful (?) event, in the very modest setting of a village hall in the middle of rural kent. Today I went to my very first poultry auction! It is not that I am particulary short of poultry, in fact you can not walk across my back garden without tripping over the feathery sos and so's. But none the less I off I set, with the rest of the household in tow, to see if their was anything which could enrich our flock!
During the course of the journey many questions were thrown at me, all of which began 'Daddy can we have'.
The list was extensive. The requests ranged from quail to turkeys with every sort of bird in between thrown in for good measure. The list grew even longer when we eventually arrived at the hall and we discovered that there were an abundance of rabbits, guinea pigs and even degu's up for auction. I became acutely aware of my resemblence to a broken record with my repeated utterance of the word 'NO'. The tirade of requests soon subsided when I informed the small people of the house that for every cute and fluffy critter purchased, I would also get a ferret which they would have to look after. This was met with a much welcomed silence.
The hall itself was a crowded and noisy affair. Four rows of tightly packed boxes and cages, displaying a wide variety of birds and mammals did not make the most convincing arguement for animal welfare, especially when you add into the mix a couple of hundred people milling up and down the rows, peering at the livestock on offer. Along with the numerous cockerals vocally competing with each other, the whole place seemed to be a tad chaoctic. I consoled myself with the knowledge that this was a transient stop over point for the assorted critters and that they would all soon be in the loving care of their new owners.
I browsed among the assorted lots with not much clue as to what I actually wanted. But more than a few caught the my eye and the eye of the wife. Six lots were marked in pencil. The variety of those considered reflected the clueless approach into which we entered this venture.
Japanese painted quail, four red legged partridge's, a white silkie hen, a box of six cream legbar chicks and last but perhaps least a couple of millefleur pekin pullets.
Then as we reached the end of the rows, we chanced upon a table full of hatcing eggs. Reluctantley, against my better judgement, I penciled in a box of six lavender Aracana eggs.
The bell tolled and the auction started. My excitment soon evapourated into despair as I realised that the auctioneer was going to start with te assembled bits of tat on offer outside the hall. I could not, however how hard I tried, enthuse over a pair of size 8 boots. The pigeon crates could not hold my interest, and the mouldy childrens playhouse just plain baffled me by its inclusion.
Over a hour and a half past as the assembled tat was sold off and I have to admit that my enthusiasm was flagging, I very nearly went home.
But then the egg auction started. One of the first lots was the Aracana eggs. I put in a winning bid for the princely sum of seven pounds sterling. Rather bizarrely this filled me with an adrenaline rush and I thought their was no stopping me. Sad to say, I was stopped, very firmly in my tracks. For that was the only winning bid I put in all day. I wasted the next couple of hours of my life needesly pushing up the price of assorted poultry. For some unknown reason I was particulary forlorn when I lost out on the red legged partridge's, which went for £30.
The sum total of my little adventure came to the six aforementioned eggs. A little dissapointing maybe. But it has given me a small taste of something I found strangely exciting. I look forward to my next adventure into the exciting world of auctions, I do however worry as to what I will end up bringing home!