So poultry auctions are exciting places it would appear.
we arrived and parked up in an area that looked like an equipment and machinery auction. I was very concerned my little car would be sold by the time we came to it. Mr Bumbleandme assured me as we didn’t have a lot number on the car it should be fine, and apparently it’s better to ask forgiveness than ask permission! Not sure I agree with that philosophy, but I didn’t fancy queuing for three hours to get into the official car park, so decided to plead ignorance.
we had a look round, got a catalogue and started walking the aisles looking in all the cages – so many birds! Some were beautiful, obviously very well looked after and some were a bit scrawny. Mr Bumbleandme insisted on getting a bidding number, much to my disgust, and the auction began.
it was quite frantic and although I was very close to the auctioneer, I could hardly hear a word he as saying. After about half an hour I have to say I got a bit bored so I went outside where there were some stalls selling plants and old tools and gardening equipment. When I came back I noticed Mr Bumbleandme was standing by some cardboard boxes with very small chicks in. We had a look and there were some very cute chicks and ducklings. We also spotted a crate with a mother Khaki Campbell and four small chicks, then a crate with about five dark Indian Runners in which looked young, but big enough to hold their own. As the auctioneer came closer, I demanded Mr Bumbleandme didn’t bid on anything as we had no idea what to do with ducklings. Finally the auctioneer arrived at the pen we had no become trapped in and we were surrounded by people and boxes of chirping chicks.
the crate with the mum and four chicks came up, and before I knew it the auctioneer was pointing at Mr Bumbleandme, then so done outbid him – thanks goodness I thought, but then the auctioneer tapped his stick on the wall and pointed at Mr Bumbleandme! He’d only gone and won them! Well, I wasn’t a happy bunny. I think the auctioneer spotted I wasn’t pleased and then promptly started picking on me to start bidding for lots. Well, I stood my ground and said no thank you, we had quite a giggle actually. But then the Indian Runner ducklings were up and Mr Bumbleandme started bidding again! Fortunately one of the helpers who holds things up for people to see outbid him. They were lovely, and had Mr Bumbleandme not won the mother and ducklings I might have encouraged him slightly, but I figured we had enough on our hands with four ducklings!
so we gingerly paid for them and took them back to the car. Driving home, it suddenly dawned on us we had no food, no bedding, no nothing for them. The ducklings are only about a week old so they need to be kept indoors for a bit. Luckily we pass an animal feed shop on the way home, so we stopped off there for some advise. A fellow bidder of the mum and four ducklings also popped in while we were there and congratulated us on our purchase. The shop owners were fab, telling us how long to feed them duckling feed, how long to keep a lamp under them for and we got everything we needed for them.
once home, we set up the dog crate in the summer house and dismantled the cat basket to use as a bed for them all. They’ve got old china pasta bowls for water and an old tin lid for the food. Getting them out of the box and into the crate was interesting. The ducklings were fine, they just stood there chirping a lot, but mum, well she went barmy! Needless to say she spotted our inexperience and made the most of it. A 20 minute chase then ensued in the summerhouse. I had to walk away in the end as I was proving particularly useless and watching her as she raced passed me, rather than trying to catch her! Mr Bumbleandme had her safely in the crate with ducklings within five minutes of my departure.
We let them settle in last night, and I’m happy to report that they survived the night – one had escaped and was huddled against the outside of the wire crate when I checked on them this morning, but I managed to out it back without a fuss. We need to go and buy proper equipment for them today though as the water disappears within about five minutes of us putting it down or it looks like a porridge where they’ve mixed the food in with it.
Pictures will ill follow I promise, but the ones we’ve taken so far look like mug shots for crime watch as they dart to nearest corner and hide when were around. I’m sure it’s only because they’re not used to us and mum is just protecting her babies. But we have sat and watched them and I have to say mum, who Mr Bumbleandme has named Niaomi (Campbell), is a very pretty bird and I can’t wait to get some decent photos to share with you. We are off to the antique and flea market now, so hopefully we won’t come back with more surprises – I think I’ve had enough for one weekend.