Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another trip to a small animal swap meet....

We took grandson Mark and headed out to another small animal swap meet today. This one was 2 and 1/2 hours away and was billed as the largest small animal swap meet with 30,000 people coming to it. It was to last for 4 days and we wanted to hit it on the first day. Probably would have been better to have waited until Saturday but this is Easter weekend and wouldn't work for me. But we had a good time and got some great buys.
Mark is going to find some chickens that he can use as a 4-H project and keep for his own. At Poppy and Nana's house of course.

He kept telling me about the pigeons but not going there. No pigeons.

The rabbits are cute but not bringing none of them home either. I like the zoo concept. Two of each kind....rabbits multiply much too rapidly!
Ooh, what have we here. Peacocks! This man wanted $75.00 a pair which is a good price. But we didn't have enough cages for everything I wanted to get. So we kept looking. The swap meet wasn't as big today as I had hoped and there wasn't a lot of different animals. These were the only peacocks in the whole place.

And the same gentleman had these white turkey hens for $5.00 each. I have my heart set on a bronze turkey tom so I did buy two hens but not the white Tom. I'll find me the bronze tom turkey somewhere sometime. We paid the man for the turkeys and told him we would be back to pick them up. He also had some banty chickens for $5.00 each so we thought we would get some of those on the return trip.

And look at this bargain. A very large cage for only $12.00. And I have a banty hen setting on her eggs which are just about to hatch so I'm thinking I can use this cage for my newly hatched chickens and haul a pair of peacocks home in it too! Load it up as fast as you can sir! The man actually had two of them but I am rapidly running out of room in the truck.
Tool Belt Jim and the man with the peacocks loaded them in my newly acquired cage.

One is a male and one is a female and they are about the same age as the ones I already have and the man said they would get along fine because they are about the same age. Wonder why mine at home are missing their little top feathers? Hmmm..

And here's Mark paying the man for the pair of chickens he picked out. He has named them Popeye and Oliveoyl. And I find a pair of Silver Sebrights for $30.00 a pair. Seems kinda steep but I plan on taking the eggs and hatching me some more. So we are now ready to head home with 2 peacocks, 2 very large turkey hens, Mark's 2 banties, the 2 Sebrights and Tool Belt Jim bought another pair of banties that he liked. We all were happy with our finds but now we needed to get home so Tool Belt Jim could build something for the turkeys to sleep in.
I called my "roll her eyes around " daughter and told her what all we had found. I heard something that sounded like "Oh, my God" on the other end of the line. She isn't a real farmer at heart but maybe by the time I get too old to take care of all these animals she will come around. That's my plan anyway.

We already had the chicken tractors that Tool Belt Jim had made last summer so we put the banties in them. They'll stay there for a few days until the other chickens get use to them being around and also Tool Belt Jim wants to separate the pens so we won't end up with a bunch of mixed breed chickens. I especially want to raise some of those Silver Sebrights. So into the chicken tractors they go.

I thought I could help unload the truck but as you can see my arm wasn't long enough to catch this chicken who was throwing itself all over the cage.

The peacocks we put in the cage with the ones I bought last week and they all got along just fine. Aren't they just gorgeous! And here is the Silver Sebright chickens. I have a hen and a rooster and I hope to raise some babies from this kind of chicken.

And look at this! The Sebright hen laid a egg on the way home! Could it get any better than this!

Uh oh! John Wayne is not liking the new rooster on the block invading his territory. And look at Mark's rooster! Holding his own is what I am seeing. They just pecked at each other through the wire. Everyone is going to have to learn how to get along in the chicken yard! One big happy family so they better get started learning how to get along.

Tool Belt Jim is pouring the turkeys some feed. Have a feeling from looking at their size they may be big eaters!

Are these ladies happy are what! Daughter Rachel thinks they are ugly but what does she know anyway!

So, even though we have all had a big day and are very tired, Tool Belt Jim strapped on the old tool belt and headed to the barn to make something for the turkeys to sleep in. Maybe another one of those chicken tractors like he made last year.

I'm taking a little break until I'm needed to hold the boards.

And here's the finished product. Wire on one end and the bottom of the sides for air flow and a hinged door on the other end to open and close each day. And not too heavy that you can't pick it up and move it as needed. Is this cool or what?

And look how we move things out here on the homestead!

Off to the chicken yard we go!

It was so funny to watch the turkeys ogle their new house. You could just see the curiosity in their expressions. So funny! And I love to hear them gobble gobble.

Daughter Rachel had made fresh strawberries with shortcake for supper and she brought the scraps from the strawberries down and her and the boys fed them to the chickens, who by the way LOVED them. Humans aren't the only ones that love fresh strawberries!

Now my next project is to read up on incubators. Tool Belt Jim stopped in at our local extension office and rented a incubator so we could try our hand at hatching chicks from eggs. It's been a long day and now I'm heading off to catch a good nights sleep! Night all!

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