Friday, April 27, 2012

The Yoder Chicken Auction

Today was the big day. We were going to the big Yoder Chicken Auction. It starts at 4pm every last friday of the month. Well, it isn't just the sale of chickens. There are various other poultry, small animals, and small animal equipment auctioned as well. I really enjoy going to the sale. This was our second visit we've ever made to the sale. It is quite an interesting array of people. There are Amish, Beachy Amish, Mennonites, Catholic Farmers (That's us!), and an array of other people. This was the first time I have actually brought anything home from the auction. It is quite an enjoyable experience, but you have to be on your toes. The Amish auctioneer really, really moves. Who would have thought that people who forego so much technology could do something so fast! I left the auction with 17 new laying hens and 2 new cages. This is the beginning of our new laying flock. I don't know why I enjoy auctions so much, but I love them. There is something authentically rural about them, and they are quite honest. Yes, some guys will bid the price up, etc., but that's all part of the game. I've learned over time how to play the auction game. There are little tricks that you pick up over time. You can usually watch the person's face you are bidding against and see when the tension starts to rise. You know you've almost got him then. Also if you bid very determinedly you can often scare off other bidders. It is interesting how human nature works. I managed to buy some of the best hens for some of the lowest prices. In fact they have already layed 5 eggs since we purchased them less than five hours ago. If you've never been to a good old-fashioned auction I highly recommend it. I have bought some great tools for pennies, and when you are a beginning farmer you can often find all those "extra" things that you never knew you would need as a farmer. My grandfather attended this auction for years. We'd see him and grandma pack up on the last friday of the month with the pickup and head to Yoder. We never knew what he would come home with. He just enjoyed tending his flocks. I'm alot like my grandpa, and I saw some old men there today that reminded me alot of him. Maybe some time a decade ago or so my grandfather bid against one of them. I'll never know whether this is true, but I do know that I am the happy owner of 17 new laying hens that are happily roosted out in their new coop. What a day. I'm tired, and I think it's time for me to hit the roost. Kevin

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