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Bidders bet on barnyard birds

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WADDINGTON — Bidders staked their claims on birds of all feathers at the annual poultry auction Sunday at the Donald Martin Civic Center Arena.

Families set up camping chairs in the arena and picked up the numbered paper plates they would raise to place their bids in their search for bargain birds. The auctioneer quickly rattled off numbers into the megaphone, occasionally interrupted by the crow of a rooster or the honk of a goose.

“I’m just here to see what they’ve got,” said Bethany M. Allen, Rushton, who was looking to stock her hobby farm.

Once the bidding for a bird ended, the winner received the purchase in a cardboard box. Most of the poultry was kept covered by a large tarp behind the auctioneer. As the auction carried on, the pile of covered boxes dwindled, as one by one the animals were shown off and sold to the nearly 50 bidders.

The auction, which began at 10 a.m. and lasted about four hours, is a tradition of the Northern New York Poultry Fanciers, a breeders group founded 20 years ago.

Each of the club’s more than 150 members has their own breed of bird, said member Barry P. Debyah, North Bangor. Most of the buyers Sunday were not members of the club, but such events let club members show off their hard work and special breeds.

“It gives us a chance for people up here to see them,” Mr. Debyah said.

Many breeds of chickens, guinea fowl, geese and ducks were up for bid, in addition to rarer birds including a pair of peacocks.

Sellers also auctioned off small animals, such as pigs and goats, and equipment for feeding and raising animals. Many families brought their children to the event.

“It’s good for kids to have some kind of animal at home. It teaches them responsibility,” Mr. Debyah said.

Ian A. Ross, 10, Moira, came to the auction excited to add to his growing flock of ducks. He was inspired by his grandfather, Daniel C. Grant.

“He has tons of ducks,” Ian said.

Mr. Grant, Fort Covington, accompanied his son and grandson to the auction to sell some of his own flock, and he said he wasn’t looking to buy.

“I don’t plan on it. I’ve got enough as it is. I’m just here to see how much a few of my birds get,” Mr. Grant said.

The Northern New York Poultry Fanciers will hold a swap meet for its members to exchange their favorite breeds May 5 at the Madrid Community Building.



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