There’s a lot that’s special about the livestock auction held at Ranelagh once a month. Firstly, there’s the promise of a bargain or two if you’re lucky. There are rows of chooks, ducks and geese that sit side by side with freshly dug up pinkeye potatoes, raspberries, and homemade preserves.

There’s the fact you can purchase a cuppa for $2, and a packet of crisps for 50c.

And then there’s the chance of bumping into a local friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with and haven’t quite managed to, since… well, the last auction actually.

The hen and chicks I fancied bringing home - see the chicks on her back....

After watching the sheep (mainly suffolks) and a few slips auctioned for what seemed like premium prices, I headed into the Poultry Pavilion. I was keen on a cross-breed hen with 9 boisterous chicks, who were using her as a chooky trampoline when I looked in her pen. I thought a proven broody would be an asset on our little plot – but alas I was well and truly outbid – she fetched double my limit.

There wasn’t a turkey in sight – but I spent some time I pondering where I could squeeze in some of those gorgeous geese and ducks somewhere in or around the garden- I’m thankful now that I’m home that I resisted those urges. I’ve only finished off the turkey pen this morning to allow the Bourbon Red’s to enjoy their first day on grass, and coming up with another poultry-related project may have tipped me over the edge this close to christmas.

It is so easy to be swept up in the moment though, as the auctioneer is calling out for bids – so tempting to raise one’s hand just a little bit….

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