Fancy that - hundreds of birds auctioned

At the Ashburton Fanciers' Society autumn auction, brothers Michael (10), Blair (6) and Shaun Jones (13) look at a friendly cockatiel. Photo: Toni Williams
At the Ashburton Fanciers' Society autumn auction, brothers Michael (10), Blair (6) and Shaun Jones (13) look at a friendly cockatiel. Photo: Toni Williams
There was something for most at the Ashburton Fanciers' Society autumn poultry auction in Ashburton this month.

Heritage breed fowl, ducks, chooks, roosters, bantams and aviary birds were some of the more than 300 birds that went under the auctioneer's hammer at the annual event in the Ashburton Sports Hall.

Buyers and sellers came from around the South Island to pick up a bargain.

Among them were the Jones brothers - Michael, Blair and Shaun - who were at the auction looking for a budgie and had their attention drawn by a friendly cockatiel.

The boys already have two budgies at home, which Blair had named Max D and TonTon.

The youngster already had the name Bobcat picked for any new budgie.

The Ashburton Fanciers Society has an impressive membership of around 100, but most are scattered around the South Island.

Secretary Brian Glassey said on the committee, or locally, only around 10 people were the stalwarts of the Ashburton Fanciers Society.

Being a member was social as well as informative, especially if people were new to owning poultry or wanted specialist advice, he said.

''As a society we are also protecting rare heritage breeds, like the original purebreds imported from the United Kingdom, United States or the Mediterranean, such as Orpington [UK] or Wyandottes [US],'' he said.

Members had social events, regular competitions, hosted annual auctions and a mid-year poultry show.

''It's not as cutthroat as in the past. Members are supportive and happily give advice to each other,'' he said.

The society holds a poultry auction in autumn and spring and raises funds through commission on sold birds.

 

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