Valentine’s Day – the countryside way

Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday this year. The sales barn in town has auctions going on, you guessed it, every Tuesday… coincidence!? I think not! I’ve been to the sales barn before, a few times… and Mitchell said I shouldn’t go back alone… temptations are everywhere! Most tips for sales barn newbies have #1 tip as ‘sit on your hands’ – boy did I know what that means. As a precautionary measure, I asked my Amish neighbour if I could tag along with him and learn a thing or two from him. I was there to look for lambs – get them at about 2-3 months (just weaned) and raise them until 6-7 months.

We walked in through the back door. That “magic” door leads to the stalls where they hold the animals prior to the auction. One walks through those doors and is immediately transformed into a kid in the candy store… I know I was. I wanted to take them all home. We looked at all the sheep first. There were mostly boys, extra ones, that farmers bring there for the obvious reasons. Then one girl. I told my neighbour I would love to have her because she was a Katahdin too (like Charlotte). Then, we came across these beautiful lambs (also Katahdins)! For some reason, my eyes could not see anything else. See for yourself!

 

I took pictures. I wrote down their stall numbers. I made mental arrangements where they would go on our farm. I was ready to take them home.

My neighbour was interested in cattle, so we ventured further into the “animal house” and I snapped some more pictures. It has been so long since I have been next to cows and I felt so minuscule next to them. Gentle eyes were following our every move. I smiled and said “hello” to all of them – it amused my neighbour to the highest level. City girl gone country.

The auction started at 11am and the games began. I sat next to my neighbour and focused really hard to keep track of the auctioneer and to understand him better. The auction for cattle always goes first, then, around 1pm, in another ring, they start auctioning the pigs, then the sheep, the goats, and lastly ponies and horses. My neighbour “unintentionally” bought 4 calves – his reason? They went for quite cheap. He took them home and added them to his other ones. He buys calves to raise to a certain weight and brings them back to the auction. buy low, sell high

The next ring opened and people were starting to gather around. We watched the pigs go through and I started to get anxious. I had taken pictures of the stalls before the animals I wanted to bid on and I was excited to see how it would all play out. I didn’t know what I was doing so he bid for me – beforehand, we talked about the highest bid on each of them because the rush is huge – it’s like a gambler’s strike!

We (he) were able to snatch the girl. I was very happy. I got a friend for Charlotte and the next puzzle piece for growing my herd.

The twin boys marched in… You could hear everyone aaaawwww with excitement. We got overbid. I was a bit sad, but that’s how the games go. Next in line, pretty boy. The man who bid on the twins didn’t want him and with a huge smile on my face, we snatched him! We did bid on other ones too, but we were easily outbid. There’s always next Tuesday.

So how did I spend my Valentine’s Day? Learning about the secrets of the sales barn. Always make sure you walk in with a price ceiling and do not cross it! You could regret it only moments later.

I still need “the lambs” because these two I brought home to stay! and make me more babies 🙂

Everyone, meet Barbara and Charlie! When we went to settle my debt, the lady cashing us out said she knows the seller and his farm raises fine animals. Exactly what I wanted to hear! Charlie boy will now become the head sire for years and years to come (unless there is something seriously wrong with him). He seems to be around 6 months old and, for now, he stands tall at 87lbs. Barbara reminds me of an old, wise lady. The look in her eyes is deep and gentle. And she stomps her foot at Annie, just like Charlotte!

They do look like they know each other because I initially put Charlie in a separate pen and he wouldn’t stop ‘crying’… I bit the bullet and put them together, thinking if they were good in the car, they should be okk in a pen together. He quickly ran to her and hid. He’s like her little shadow hehe

But the best part of all this is that Mitchell drove aaaalll the way back home to spend the day with me… and I was nowhere to be found. I only found out about his surprise when I saw his car in the driveway as I pulled in with sheep in the back of my car. He came home to hand deliver my V-day present. We did chores together and I showed him what I got HIM for Valentine’s Day. He laughed and said “ya, these are for me!” (I could hear the sarcasm)

Hope all of you had a great Valentine’s Day. I had one I will never forget!

One Thought on “Valentine’s Day – the countryside way

  1. Pingback: Not one, nor three sheep were enough! - Caledon Acres

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