Have you ever wondered where the wonderful assortment of chickens and ducks who entertain you all at Bosinver come from? Of course we breed our own and regularly hatch out batches of chicks. But because our birds roam free, we have visits from Mr Fox and also need to replenish our numbers and introduce new bloodlines.
Lodge and Thomas have four poultry sales a year at the cattle market in Truro on a Saturday morning. Last week Farmer Dave, Nanny Pat and four grandchildren visited armed with cardboard boxes and crates. We took two cars to fit us and our possible purchases in on the journey home. You are never quite sure what you will buy, which is part of the fun, but best to be prepared!
When we got there the auction was in full swing, very crowded and noisy. Sam and Jasmine are small so I took them away from the melee to check the poultry waiting to be sold while Dave got stuck in with the two older ones.
I am always amazed by the variety of breeds on offer, often with unusual names like Wyandottes or Buff Orpingtons and features such as feathered legs which look like breeches, or tall long-necked ducks called Indian Runners. (You can find out more about the different breeds on the Poultry Club website.)
I love listening to the auctioneer – who talks so loud and fast that it is virtually impossible to understand what he is saying. True professionals like a Farmer Dave, who has been buying farm stock like this all his life, seem to communicate with a series of nods, winks, twitches and a wave of his programme, which is fascinating to watch.
Wilfred and Megan were getting stuck in and Farmer Dave made his first purchase of some young ducklings, which he noted on his buying sheet. In the excitement and heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget what you bought!
We all moved on to the call ducks and Wilfred (who knew our limit to spend) had a go at bidding using the programme waving technique. He successfully purchased two ducks.
We spent a happy hour there and came home with a variety of chickens and ducks to add to our flock.
Poultry sales are happening all over the country. Why don’t you find one near you and pop along? Many of the breeders selling their stock are very knowledgeable and happy to chat. Just be careful you don’t scratch your nose or nod your head or you might just be going home with some extra passengers!
Meet Bosinver’s friendly animals
We have lots of friendly animals at Bosinver, including numerous breeds of ducks and chickens. Then there are our pygmy goats, Spike and Billy. Our sheep, Vanilla, Snowdrop, Freckle, Sooty, Sweep, Badger and Big Ears, will happily eat from your hand.
One of the highlights for our younger guests is the chance to Join Farmer Dave each morning to help him feed the animals and collect eggs from our chickens. There’s nothing nicer than a freshly laid egg for breakfast (and it often makes for a perfect photo opportunity).