Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Goat Auction

Yesterday afternoon (4 June 07), we went to a Goat/Sheep auction at a sale barn near here. We got there at 5:00 pm (the sale started at 6:00) so we could look at the animals that were for sale. There were lots of goats, but way more sheep. We were able to look at most of the goats, and select a few we wanted to bid on. There were several milk goats and cross bred ones, but we were looking for Boer goats.

The owner of the sale barn told us that "if you have Pygmie or "Fainting" goats, to sell them fast" because the bottom fell out of the market for them. It seems that they have been classified as "Pet" species and can no longer be sold as meat animals. I never wanted Pygmies and have only had one Fainter, so the ruling doesn't affect us, but thought it was interesting, never the less.

After watching for awhile, the ones we wanted finally came up. We ended up getting the 3 Does we wanted, plus one more. At 10:00, we decided to call it a night, even though there were several more due up. When we got ready to go, there were still nearly 2000 head to go through the ring. We decided that we didn't need to stay until 2:00 am to see them all!

As we were loading our new goats, there was a couple in the next loading chute with a Ford MINI-VAN. I had seen the car in line and figured that they were just turning around until they backed up to the chute. It turns out that it was a whole family - Husband, wife, 6 month old baby, 5 year old daughter and two pre-teen daughters. They had purchased 4, 50 pound sheep and wanted to load them in the mini-van. They opened the rear door and produced two card board boxes that said "Gateway Computers" on the side. Each box was barely able to hold one sheep. We told them the best bet was to fold the boxes and put them on the floor of the van behind the seat and let the sheep sit on them loose.

It was a sight watching them stuff those 4 sheep into the tiny space behind the seat! I held one sheep while the husband collected another. His wife held the second while he gathered the third. The only place for the 3rd sheep was between his wife and the second sheep. She leaned in the car and held both of them fast while her husband and I put the last two sheep into the van. Now the fun part - getting the door shut with his wife and four sheep stuffed into that small space. She bend herself over - practically standing on her head - while he shut the rear hatch. She was stuck in between the seat and the door for a few seconds before she managed to squirm free. The last image I had of her was her crawling over the sheep, the seat and her kids to get into her seat for the drive home. It was one of those times when I wish I had a video camera handy!

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