Monday, August 22, 2011

Traumatization at Local Poultry Auction...

I did the unthinkable.
I sold roosters.

Actually, I guess for me - the unthinkable would have been to cook them.

Last night, under the cloak of darkness, we abducted the birds and put them into some ramshackle cages that Glenco built.

I shall forever be haunted by the blood curdling scream one of them let out as I snatched it.

25 years ago, I worked in Chicago, wore high heels and nylons and painted my fingernails.
Today - I abduct poultry in the night.

This morning I noticed that one of  the buggers had gotten out of the cage.
They were ramshackly after all.
With the help of a fishing net and a neighbor - I got him back in the cage.

Into the Heep we all went.

There was quite an assortment at the auction today - and it's a good thing I didn't have cash in hand - or I may have brought home Buddy a few more sister wives (hens).
And then there was a stunning bantam rooster.

I felt rather proud of my birds - they looked healthy and bright eyed in comparison to many a fowl at the show.

isn't the duck head sticking out of the cardboard box a riot?

The excitement was building as the auctioneer got closer and closer to us -


I saw the Chinese man that was wearing swimming trunks, rubber boots and a t-shirt.

I didn't photograph him - seemed wrong to -

but here's his truck.

See that lift gate?
He was THROWING in birds there.
And rabbits.

My heart sank, I wanted to take my birds and run.
I wanted to say 'YOU can't buy my birds'.

I thought I had just done a terrible awful by bringing my birds there.

Traumatization was setting in.
Big time.
I almost hurled.

I've seen this before at the poultry auctions, and maybe I'm just a light-weight city girl - maybe just cause I like to put diapers on my chickens and have them in the house - name them, kiss them, wash and blow dry them, and make up life stories for them - maybe it's just me - but some people just simply manhandle the birds there.

Tears me up.

Luckily - a nice couple bought one of my Jersey Giants.
I asked them right away what their intentions were with my bird.
They were a bit surprised.
They assured me they had a harem of hens at home awaiting his free-ranging arrival.
I kissed him on the head (the rooster that is) and thanked them for their purchase.

The second black giant was up - an outspoken man with a long white beard bought him, and again - I asked him - 'what are your intentions?'
"I have 20 hens that need sex".
Well - ok, then.
Another kiss on the comb goodbye.

The last two were sold to a young man that spoke broken English.
He handled the birds so gently, that I felt that he either didn't want to bruise his dinner - or in fact he was going to be kind to my birds. 
 He smiled nicely as he handed me back the ramshackle cages.

Upon arriving home $34 richer, I noticed how incredibly quiet the yard was.
I didn't much like it.

Buddy's still here.

I only have 11 hens - so Buddy's in his sister wife heaven.
I could have kept all five roosters if I would have gotten about 4 more dozen hens - which I was willing to do...
But certain people around here that shall remain nameless - you know - the ones that don't cotton to goats and milk cows - or me doing the Demolition Derby at the fair...

'They' ixnayed my four dozen hens.

In the famous words of my mother...

"they law, I can't have anything"


  1. I'm so glad things worked out for you and you now only have one rooster. It's real hard to take the animals to a sale cuz you just never know what is gonna happen. You did the right think and you'll enjoy the one rooster and the rest of the hens. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  2. awwww. Sorry sugar. I'm sure you didn't do a terrible awful.

  3. You had me scared there for a minute. I would have asked their intentions too! I bet it is pretty quiet around there now.

  4. What I wouldn't give to see you primping up a bird.

  5. Oh, and the duck. Well, the duck flat out made my day.

  6. It's the same for me when I sell a horse, Jayme. My husband always gives me the 'don't ask too many qusetions!' lecture before the prospective buyers arrive and then he cringes when I ask TOO MANY QUESTIONS when they're here what are your plans for this horse?

    That truck is weird. The sign is in Spanish but the lettering under the sign looks Chinese or maybe Vietnamese? Hmmm...

    Your birds had a WONDERFUL LIFE with you and I'm sure they went to wonderful homes. You're a good chicken mama!

    : )

  7. You are a RIOT! (and so is that duck)

  8. marytylermotorheadAugust 22, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Isn't that a goose in the box?

  9. It's so hard to re-home roosters. I had two from the five I hatched out last year. Both went to good homes. I am no longer hatching out chicks because I don't want anymore roosters. I got some Sex Links this year because I knew 100% they were girls. One rooster is enough for me and he's got 16 girls so I'm pretty sure he's happy.

  10. That story had me on the edge of my seat and laughing out loud at the same time. I love the duck. They seem to have so much personality. Having to "dispose of" roosters is the hardest part of owning chickens. I had to take 3 to the RSPCA this year, knowing full well that they probably wouldn't be able to find homes for them. But I am glad it has all worked out well for your boys.
    Kathy from Tasmania

  11. We just sold our little rooster a couple of weeks ago at a local poultry swap. I wondered what would happen to him too. I didn't ask. It's better that way ;) We moved our girls into the new coop this weekend. It's still not completely finished but it's safe and they love it. Not much pecking order havoc happening thankfully!

  12. Jayme, I almost called half way through the blog and begged you to go back and buy them.again. And the duck too. What is it about us that causes us to think in animal thoughts? I am sooo happy for the boys getting their very own harem. And Buddy will be happier too. Thank you for asking the buyers intentions, I am sure you were the topic of conversation at dinner in a couple of homes that night.

  13. oh man, I want that duck picture on a card. LOVE it. flat out LOVE!! Your roosters had love and that's more than some fowl ever get.
    Is my little banty pal still around?

  14. I was uncomfortable with the truck...the one that didn't have English on it! I hope that man that bought your last 2 didn't get in that truck. I mighta followed him, but no tellin' where we'd have ended up! I prolly wouldn't have been able to find my way back home!! Then again, he was probably headed to 30 and 41. I will not eat there!! See ya real soon, ya hear?

  15. How on earth did you survive, I would have broken down and thrown up all over the place.
    Its hard to let go of your featherd gang but it looks like they have good homes.

    Hang in there.

  16. Oh the guilt...didn't you offer to overnight me one...or was it all 3? Not that I need a rooster, I was jumping up and down when I finally counted one egg for every girl, but I do understand your feelings. Every animal that we invite into our home/farm deserves the best we can give them...hats off to you for speaking directly to the buyers! And I too thought the duck was coming home with you...hee, hee!

  17. Oh Lord I too would have panicked and probly grabbed the roo's and run. Whew, glad it worked out for you and Buddy _wink.

  18. You are so brave! I couldn't have gone to the auction. If I can't find a neighbor to take a rooster then I take them to the feed store and they take them back. It is either that or the soup pot... and I don't want to do that either. If they were just chickens I tossed feed to, maybe, but we get to know our chickens too well. Good thing the roosters are rowdy and noisy so I want to get rid of them.

  19. Thank the heavens that the chinese man didn't buy those roosters of yours. Seeing that kind of truck, although my imagination can come up with all kinds of horrific stories about the poor poultry this man buys, is why I am a dedicated vegetarian. There is no way I could eat chickens or their eggs from a person, or corporate farm, that even hints at the mistreatment of any kind of animal.

    Personally Jamie I think all animals, especially poultry, should have the exact kind of living conditions you provide your birds. I applaud your love for them.


  20. Oh Jayme, I was SO fearful about that truck. Yikes!! Love this post. It sounds like they all went to (hopefully) good homes. I'm working on my Goose/Rooster pen. Till it's complete, I sit with the roosters every night.. waiting for dark so I can move them back to the coop with the girls for the night. They are such gentlemen. Really they are (to me)! I roost with the roos and watch for my screech owls to come visit. It's truly a miracle my hubs doesn't have me committed. Bless my hubs, and your Glenco ♥ It takes a special fella to endure all of this, now doesn't it? ;) -Tammy

  21. How does one go about finding a poultry auction? We are a little heavy in the cock department right now. I would love to auction them and stand next to the cage so I know they are going somewhere happy like our home.

  22. I am glad things worked out for you and your birds. I can't kill the roosters either.

    Fortunately for us, there is a preserved farm in our town. They have a barn and many many pens for petting zoo animals..they adopt the rabbits and non winter surviving animals out in the winter ( they will take them back in spring if you want) but they have TONS of free range chickens, roosters, guinea hens, name it. so if we have too many roosters, we can drop them off there where they play, and chase females to their hearts content..I don't think about what happens in the "natural" life, but I know they are happy when we leave them.

  23. Oh law! I had an aunt that used that expression. She was the only person I have heard until you! I love it!

    Glad you were able to sell the birds. They did look very good.

  24. I just love readin your blog... I've got some extra roosters I need to sell too... I like your homemade cages. I love the ducks head stinkin out of the box, lol.

  25. It'll be okay! Your roosters will have a great time getting aquainted with their new hens and I'm sure they'll live happily ever after.

  26. You took the high road, Jayme....we butchered our 2 extra roos and stewed them for stock:(
    They was mean son of a guns, if that makes any difference.

  27. We took our 6 roosters to auction in July. My gals were soooo happy. The coop is much calmer and quieter now with only one rooster. I didn't want to know what the future held for the roosters. We also had a guy with a "painted truck". He didn't buy any of ours either.

  28. That duck is cracking me up! Love it!

  29. What an experience...I could not have done it! I would just be afraid they would eat them! I roo the day I have to do this!

  30. I would have had a hard time parting with them too, Jayme...especially when I saw THE GUY WITH THE TRUCK! I mean, seriously! It kinda does make one feel SICK!..and then I eat them...sigh...I could never eat Angus either when we had them on the farm...not after I had petted their bulky heads and patted their angus for me.

    But, funny enough, I DID eat the chickens...even after helping pluck them...oh my...what WAS I thinking? xo Diana

  31. Had to read this twice. I thought you said,

    "The EXCREMENT was building as the auctioneer got closer and closer to us"

    I about fell out, because that would certainly be true, TOO!

    Hope your roosters fared well. Love the duck!

  32. LOL Vicki! Excrement WAS building I'm sure in those cages! I'm sure this was hard for you to do Jaimie. But thats just too many roosters for anyone's comfort! Good for you and congrats on it all working out well. OF COURSE you had to speak to the buyers; and probably would have tucked them up and brought them home again if they HAD been planning rooster stew!

  33. It is real hard to take the animals to a sale cuz you just never know what is going to happen. You did the right think and you will enjoy the one rooster and the rest of the hens.


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