Poultry SaleRSS feed

Posted: Saturday 12 April, 2008

by Rosemary at 7:46pm in Poultry Comments closed

Caledonian Marts in Stirling hosted the Central Scotland Poultry Sale today. I went along, armed with cheque book, puppy cage and cat basket (just in case). There seemed to be a good turnout, but the first person I saw was Jo Lennon, who's a founder member of the FV&WF Smallholders' Association! I had arranged to meet Andrew and Janis Sharpe, who were "just there for a look". Hold that thought! There were about 200 lots, including hens, cockereles in singles, pairs and trios; ducks, geese, a few turkeys and two pea fowl.

I was really glad Andrew was there - as a former butcher, he knew his was around the mart and the system. I got my catalogue at the office - number 59 - and headed off to view. I was trying to be very organised, marking the lots I was interested in, but after the first pass, I had so many marked, I had to go back and edit some out. There were a few nice cockerels, but I think I'll just retain one of the Copper Black Marans I've got in the incubator (assuming some hatch and one's a cockerel!).

In the end, I bought two lots of 4 Black Rock POL pullets. Andrew and Janis bought 4 Black Rock POL and two Silkies - one white and one buff, 14 weeks old. The 12 BR went in the puppy cage and the Silkies in the cat basket for the journey home to ours. Once there, we put eight of the BR in a run and the remaining 4 BR and the Silkies in the puppy cage, with food and water, for the onward journey to their new home. While the BRs looked shell-shocked, the Silkies (which are about half the size) were straight into the grub and the drink. I think they will prove to be real characters - Andrew and Janis are well smitten by them, but I've offered to rehome them should they decide they DON'T really like them. From the picture, you can guess how much chance there is of that!

Janice and Andrew.jpg

Once back at ours, we despatched the first of the Hubbards. Andrew gave us a demo of cleaning and preparing the bird. First thing was to show us how to sharpen knives properly using a steel - what a difference a good technique makes! Dan's had a happy half hour sharpening all our knives! Once prepared, the Hubbard weighed just short of 5.5lbs. He wasn't the biggest, just the slowest! He was much easier to pluck than the cockerels we've killed before - don't know whether that is a breed factor or an age one. Next time (tomorrow), we will pluck the bird then hang it for 24 hours before cleaning it.

I did a rough calculation on how much it was cost us to produce the five birds (assuming all killed out today at 5.5lb) - £48 give or take a few pence, so to break even, we'd have to sell them at £1.75 per pound. Organic chickens in Tesco are about £2.50 per pound, so we're not going to retire on these birds. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and that's tomorrow, so I'll feedback following the taste test!

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