Folks in northeastern Mass. and southern N.H. and Maine: On Sunday, Oct. 18 starting at noon, there will be an auction held in the poultry barn at the Topsfield Fairgrounds in Topsfield, Mass. Items include mostly (but not exclusively) poultry and poultry care items. The fairgrounds are on Rte. 1, just a few hundred yards south of the junction of Rte. 1 and Rte. 97 (the same 97 that goes to Salem, N.H.) in Topsfield. The Essex Agricultural & Technical Highschool chapter of Future Farmers of America holds this auction annually to raise funds for chapter activities, including a trip to the national FFA convention. For every item sold at the auction, the FFA kids get 25% of the proceeds for their chapter fund. You never know what's going to turn up for auction! I've been going for years, and in past auctions there has been anything and everything from varieties of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, to chukars, pheasants and quail, guinea fowl, pigeons, doves, cagebirds (such as budgies) and rabbits. Also, sacks of feed, bushels of apples, poultry feeders and waterers, used nest boxes and transport cages or coops, you name it. Some people donate items so the kids can get the extra $$ The past few auctions, they've also auctioned boxloads of chicks that were part of the incubator-hatching exhibit of the Topsfield Fair (the auction is always held the first Sunday following the closing day of the fair). There are often GAZILLIONS of one- to two-week-old chicks of popular breeds including RIR and barred rock. If you want straight run chicks, this is the place to get them. If you have items to sell, be there between 9am and 11:30am to sign up. ALL CHICKENS, TURKEYS AND GAMEBIRDS MUST BE BLOODTESTED and you must show the documentation. Waterfowl, cagebirds and pigeons/doves (and bunnies, of course) are exempt from that. All animals must be humanely and securely stowed in sturdy boxes, crates or coops that you are willing to part with. Use clean shavings and provide adequate airholes, etc. and provide your critters with food and juicy fruit (for water), since it can be a long while before they will get to a new home. If you plan to bid, try to get there before noon to sign in and get a bidding number. A worthy cause, great kids, and often great deals. Rain or shine. Bring portable seating in case the benches fill up. The FFA kids have a hotdog stand near the barn, where you can get a 'dog, coffee, chips and other munchies and soft drinks. Oh, and dress warm.