Is it a bird, is it a plane, or is it a feather duster?
Mumma hen and babies
Calling all poultry lovers, or potential poultry lovers, out there: The Kyneton Poultry Club Helmsman Auction is on this coming Sunday and a great day out for the family as well as an opportunity to buy great birds direct from the folk who breed them. You will find not only chooks but ducks, quail and guinea fowl here – occasionally geese and turkeys too.
This auction is held at the Kyneton Showground, just a ten minute walk from the high life of the famous Piper Street cafes, galleries and "stuff shops" (as my beloved calls them, fondly I am sure).
Set under the leafy green elms, this Helmsman or "Dutch" auction is relatively quiet compared to the frenzy of a traditional poultry auction. There is no auctioneer "calling" the bids; instead, bidders walk around, pencil in hand, marking their bids on the card at the front of the cage holding their desired bird.
This can be either a leisurely or intense process, depending on the desirability of the bird and the degree of competitiveness in the bidder!
Ask questions of the breeders who will be near by the cages, or of passing folk with a knowing eye and of course the ever helpful stewards. Poultry lovers are generally friendly folk, happy to help with a question from a newbie.
Even if you are not interested in selling or purchasing birds there is a fine sausage sizzle and a variety of stallholders selling grain, poultry accessories such as incubators feeders and drinkers. Last auction we bought a variety of plants including tomatoes.
The atmosphere is relaxed and the raffle usually entices you with a very gorgeous fluffy hen and too many very cute chicks to entrance the kids and grown- ups alike.
Some of the birds may look a little strange to those used to a good ole' Isa Brown. Is it a bird or a feather duster?
If you decide you need another sort of poultry lovin' we can recommend Duck Duck Goose Larder for lunch afterwards, just around the corner on Piper Street.
The club hold three auctions a year in March, July and October. They are also holding a Winning Edge Seminar on Saturday June 6th followed by their annual show on June 7th.