My Thoughts on Chickens Auctions

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by greenfamilyfarms, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Before I start, let me say that not all people who take chickens to the chicken auctions in are "bad" people. I know there are several reasons why a person would sell extra birds at auction, but let me give you my experiences. I think it is worth sharing.

    I started out attending a small local chicken auction sponsored by a feed mill that needed the extra money to keep feed prices low. I took a few extra of our birds about 3-4 times. I really didn't make any money on them, but they were gone and I didn't have to feed them or worry with them anymore. However, there were several things I saw happen over the few times I attended that really turned me off to chicken auctions.

    First, the poultry are not handled appropriately. Many times you will see birds in too small of a cage, placed on the cold asphalt with their toes caught under the wire, then grabbed by their legs and carried upside down and threw into other cages once they are sold. I know poultry are animals, but I know my birds are never treated that way and were terrified by the whole experience.

    Second, many of the birds are so tightly packed in a pen that you can't tell what they are. Many times the birds are labeled as hens, but once you bid on them and take them out of the pen, you realize they are roosters. Also, people will mislabel breeds. This may be a honest mistake or being dishonest to try to get a higher bid. I feel victim to this - I bid on a young pair of "Red Jungle Fowl" then later figured out they were just BB Red OEGBs once they were not putting on size.

    Third, and the worst of all, is the chance of picking up disease. I was shocked to see birds coming in with bad respiratory infections, missing legs, fresh wounds, and some even standing in a couple of inches of wet feces. After that day, I took my pens and tossed them in the trash at the dump, went to the car wash and washed my car and scrubbed my shoes. I have never seen a state tester there to test birds for anything until I filed a complaint and they sent one to the next auction, or so I heard. I never went back.

    Now, my experience with the 3rd issue goes deeper than just being a witness. Thankfully I didn't transport any of the disease back to my home, but the results of me just attending were bad enough. There is another young lady about my same age with the same first name (spelled differently, however) that also brought birds for sale when I went. The state got involved with her flock and they tested positive for some sort of disease. Somehow people got me and her mixed up and were thinking for the longest time I was selling sick birds. It has taken me over a year to get things straightened back out from that situation, but I still have lost good customers and good chicken friends because they refuse to believe the truth.

    I have certainly learned my lesson in attending and selling at chicken auctions! Since then, we have made a commitment to follow biosecurity measures, including not allowing visitors near our birds. We have also decided to only raise birds by pre-order and extra roosters will be processed here for meat.

    We are a group of adults here, so I'm not telling you what you should do. I'll leave that decision up to you. But, for me and my farm, we do not support chicken auctions. Just remember - Buyer Beware - no matter where you choose to sell or buy your birds.
  2. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Yeah, if you ask me, poultry auctions are sad places. I would never send one of my birds to one, ever, and though I have bought a few birds from them I will only go to them if it's for my job now. One never knows what sort of fate their birds are going off to, and the treatment of the animals is rarely very kind.

    If I'm going to buy poultry from any animal sales event, I choose either poultry shows or BYC get-togethers. Much more reputable and better places to be.

    Keep me away from livestock auctions in general, unless I'm on a rescue mission.
  3. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Quote:Good for you! As a fellow BYC member and an animal lover, I thank you for your efforts! [​IMG]
  4. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
  5. rearrolled

    rearrolled Songster

    Jan 12, 2011
    i most deffently agery with u i make shor my chooks go to a good home
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    So true! Now that the hubby and I are getting serious about building coops, I plan attend poultry shows and meet the breeders on their turf. Although I am torn as to where to start my flock, I have a clear picture of how I want my birds to be handled. I'm not interesting in shipping live birds-I'll have to travel to get mine. So if you see a 33 ft camper trailer with chickens peeking out the window, don't be alarmed, it's just me.
  7. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
  8. heathersboers

    heathersboers Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    I agree wholeheartedly- It is the same with goat auctions-you would not believe all those neglected goats there. I am not planning on going to a chicken auction. If I do get extra roos and cannot sell them-Ill either eat them or give them away. I do not want any diseases that the auction has to offer...
  9. WIChookchick

    WIChookchick Songster

    Aug 25, 2010
    Rural Brooklyn, WI
    Near me there is a "Small animal" swap, which while not an auction... it is just as bad as the OP described. I took some of my extra roosters there, I made sure they were in comfortable boxes for transport,
    and had several wire cages that gave them both height and width so they could move around and be seen. I also brought water and food for them.
    I saw badly plucked hens crammed in a transport cage, pigs not even weaned (maybe a few weeks old) in the back of a truck, in cold temps with the wind blowing.
    I covered portions of my cages to ensure my chickens had a wind break, others just shivered badly, their owners too worried about themselves sitting in their vehicles to stay warm.
    I got lucky with mine, I had a silkie rooster and two crossbred bantam rooster chicks, and they all went to great homes, with families with kids that happened to drive up knowing there
    was a swap that day.
    Two things stood out to me, 1- these people all knew each other, so simply traded one badly plucked cage of birds for ones with bloodied heads and scaly legs.
    2-these people bred sheep and goats and poultry, one had shetland or icelandic sheep, a few had been in petting zoo's and loved people. YET they didn't take the time
    to have the sheep de horned, so now, its horns were millimeters away from its own skull, IF it could have been helped, Yah, but it was most certainly doomed to go to slaughter.

    I only wish I could have save a lovely cross bred goose, I was still debating on getting it, when a fellow originally from russia bought him, and stuffed him into a box you could fit a pair of shoes in.
    He was a canadian crossbred goose.. now in heaven.

    NEVER AGAIN.. unless I went to save an animal.

  10. bunnibird55

    bunnibird55 Songster

    Oct 13, 2009
    NW Ohio
    I so agree - animal auctions should be banned. When I owned a pet shop I got to see first-hand the nasty world behind the pet shop doors. It is called an "exotic animal sale" - Woods and Water. There were monkeys crammed in tiny cages, neuologically damaged hedge hogs spinning helplessly in circles, a very cold holding room with sick and dirty animals, half plucked parrots again crammed in way too small cages - cages being roughly thrown up on the stage as the auctioneer began his banter. It has been about 15 years since I witnessed this and watched the buyers of "reputable" pet shops get frightened, sick, emotionally exhausted animals being purchased for a low price so they could sell them to the unsuspecting public. Yep, I never went back to an animal auction again - I never buy animals from pet shops. The memory still makes me shudder.......

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