Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fun at the Fur and Feather Swap/Swap Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, I got up early to get my act together to go to the Stephenson Fur and Feather Swap.
I did not have much for sale as I didn't raise much poultry this year. Mostly I had sheep--- 5 Shetland ewe lambs. And some sheep skulls for Halloween decorations. I also had a cage full of kittens who needed new homes. I also took along a Shetland Sheep sign that normally is in my yard when I have sheep for sale. I believe signage is important at such events because some people may be shy about asking questions.
After I got set up but before the swap officially began, I looked around at the other swappers' stuff. First stop was to look at Mr. Damron's Boer and Nubian goats.
Somebody had a trailer full of Suffolk/Hampshire sheep. Others had horses, ferrets, rabbits, guineas, chickens, ducks, geese and lots of little goats, mostly pygmies.

The ugly hand of government showed up in a government vet who checked on my sheep to make sure they had that evil 'mark of the beast' government tag without which you cannot buy or sell (as mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation). I did. An aside: I saw an article about the scrapie program which said that in ten years, the scrapie tags would eliminate scrapie. That was over ten years ago. Why are scrapie tags still required???

There was not as much activity at the sale as I would have hoped. I got to tell a number of people about Shetland sheep, and gave out two of my farm's business cards. I also met a fellow sheepman from the area, and he raises registered Katahdins! I told him about my new Katahdin ram and about how I am switching over my hair sheep flock from White Dorper to Katahdin due to the difficulty in finding herd sires within driving distance.

On the kitten front, several hopeful little boys spent the day petting and playing with some of the kittens, but Parental Units said no to taking any home. I did find a new home for a very shy but beautiful Calico kitten I thought would be the hardest to place. So it wasn't a wasted day. I do wish, however, that I'd had up-to-date farm business cards, maybe even a farm brochure as I had in years past. And some more signs, and a few more things to sell. But, there are three more sales to go, I can get better as I go along.

I also got on the mailing list for the Fur and Feather swaps, and picked up a copy of the Fall Swap schedule. There are three swaps left for the year. They are:

Saturday, Sept. 29 at Tractor Supply Company, Marinette, WI
Saturday Oct. 6 at Marinette Farm and Garden, Marinette, WI
Saturday Oct. 13 at Peshtigo Feed Mill, Peshtigo, WI

All swaps are 8 am to noon, local time. It is free for buyers and sellers, you must bring your own cages, and they are held rain or shine. Swap participants are responsible for complying with any and all government regulations involved in transporting and selling animals.

The swaps are sponsored by the Northern Poultry - Pigeon and Rabbit Club.

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