This weekend we attended the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society Poultry Auction at Stanthorpe showgrounds. We were absolutely astounded at the number of people who had travelled to be there and the quality and diversity of the poultry on offer. My mother in law, Sylvia, came along as she's a poultry fancier from way back, as did the three excited farmgirls. While we've been to plenty of cattle auctions we've never been to a poultry auction. I marked out a number of lots that I thought looked 'nice'. I had done some research but I'm sure it takes some time before a poultry fancier learns to judge the conformation of particular animals. Despite much 'egging on' (pardon the pun) I felt a bit too green to put in a bid at auction. We did, however, get an invite to the property of local poultry addicts, Rod and Lyn Spencer. They told us we could come out one Sunday and take a look and we said 'Tomorrow's Sunday'. Graciously they agreed to let us call in. We were amazed by the range of heritage breeds they carry and impressed by the clean healthy environment they live in. These are the chicks we took home with us.
Now the kids think I trudged all the way out to Rod and Lyn's to get those chickens just for them and they've agreed that in return they should keep the bedding clean the the food and water freshly filled. I wouldn't want them to find out that I'm just as attracted to these little guys (actually gals) as they are. I wouldn't want them to find out that I sat beside them in the sun today having my morning coffee.
After Play School finished Miss Jess thought it would be nice to sit in the sun and do play dough with the chickens. I'm sure they enjoyed the company.
This morning my chicken slaves (aka farmgirls) moved their new friends from their warm 'night box' in front of the fire to their 'day pen', to enjoy some sunshine and grass. Warren has built a bigger mobile pen for them to move into when they're ready to roost.
We were really hoping to raise heritage breeds so we couldn't believe our luck finding Rod and Lyn in our district. We now have a male and female Welsummer, a Silver Grey Dorking, an Ancona, a Salmon Faverolle, a Rhode Island Red, a Black Orpington, a Plymouth Rock, a Gold Partridge Wyandotte, a Gold Hamburg and a Barnvelder. It's like an international roll call of heritage breeds. The idea is that we'll raise these chicks and have a think about which breed we're really enjoying before we decide which breed to continue with. My guess is that there will be different aspects to all of them that we'll love.