Saturday, March 28, 2015

Where do I go to buy and sell poultry?

If you want to find a variety of chickens, turkeys and waterfowl the best place to find them in one spot is a traditional swap meet. Swap meets are a great way to buy animals directly from the farmer.

In our area of Southern Wisconsin, swap meets with animals are typically held in fall or spring. Farmers and hobbyists bring all sorts of small animals from gerbils to guinea hens and pigeons to peacocks. You'll also find equipment like nesting boxes, feeders, pet taxis and more.

Key tips for first-time swap-goers: get there early, bring a box/crate for the birds you buy, and bundle up! (Most important for those in the upper Midwest, like us.)

Swap in Beaver Dam, WI, Fall 2014

Some of the animals are show-quality, some are barnyard-ready. But you can usually negotiate a good deal with the sellers and add variety to your flock. (Remember the old saying: never buy the best bird from a bad flock!)

Swap in Beaver Dam, WI, Fall 2014
By talking with the sellers, you can learn more about their birds and whether they have more at home. That relationship can pay off next time you're looking for birds or eggs.

Swap in Beaver Dam, WI, Fall 2014
Ready to try out these tips? Check out the 20th Annual Walworth County Fur & Feather Swap Saturday, April 4, 2015 at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn, WI.

The details:
Rabbits, poultry, small animals, equipment, crafts
Admission is $2, children under 12 enter free of charge. 
Outdoor selling spots are $5. 
Indoor selling spots with one table are $10. 
Lunch stand on the grounds.
State law requires all poultry be accompanied by health papers. Copies will be collected before entry to the swap.

I'll see you at the swap,

--Dale, aka Turkeyman