Sunday, May 4, 2008

poultry swap!

This morning was the May Poultry Swap in upstate New York. What started a few years ago as a fancier's tailgate party had now evolved into a full out livestock trade show. Off the top of m head head I remember seeing chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, pheasants, rabbits, lambs, goats, doves, quail, peacocks, puppies and of course free barn cats. There were farmers from all over southern Vermont and upstate New York and a few straglers from other regions looking for a specific breed or animal. It was a fray of feathers, vendors, squawking, crowing, and races of human conversation. All of it happening at 7 Am on a rainy 45 degree morning. Yet despite the weather, the crowds showed up and the 4-H stand sold coffee and donuts. Bless them.

Being without a rooster, I was on a mission for a relatively calm gentleman to join my little homestead. I saw all sorts of males from tiny little Sebright bantam cocks to giant Cochin roosters, which were so big they stood three feet tall and triumphed over the tom turkeys in the neighboring crates. I would’ve brought one home, but a toddler could’ve ridden those guys and honestly, I didn’t have a cage big enough in the station wagon. I would've had to buckle him into the front seat. I’m serious, those guys were bigger than lambs.

So, giant roosters now out of my shopping picture, I ended up with a smaller Ameraucana rooster. He's beautiful. He has a cream mane of feathers around his head, a gray body, and speckles of green and rusty gold feathers along his cape and saddle. He’s flamboyant, colorful, generally calm and a somewhat soulful crower. I named him Rufus Wainright. An added bonus - he can’t be mistaken for a turkey, which is in season now for Vermont hunters.

Besides Rufus, I came home with a few more layers. A nice little Dominique (black and white bars along their backs) a jet black Australorp, and a little Ameraucana hen I named dove, after the Carlin’s favorite Ameracuana back in Idaho.

It took every fiber of my being not to buy two lambs and “figure it out” but I have said no to 10-week-old goats before (which is hands down the worlds cutest baby animal) so I can say no to some sheep. All of my hooved livestock will find their way into my life sometime down the road, When I have a barn, and fencing, a man to build said fencing, and pasture. Right now, I have chickens and some veggies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I featured you in our blog today!

May 5, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Hallelujah! Welcome to the flock, Rufus!

May 5, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

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