The poultry auction was a 4 hour drive, and we left bright and early. I have to admit, I've never seen a real live Dorking before, so was hoping to see some as advertised.
The shed was hot and full of crowing and clucking. We wandered the isles looking for the three Dorkings that were suppose to be in pen 26, but instead there was a single white chook in there. We kept looking and found a couple of possible Dorkings in a different pen. Sadly they only had 4 toes and some of their markings were a bit odd.
Never mind, we followed the crowd of people around the pens as the auctioneer sold them off one by one. It was a strange way to buy an animal! Some of the chooks were lovely, obviously good examples of their breed. Others were not-so-good, with feathers missing, crooked toes or obvious health issues.
When it came to selling the Dorkings, there was little interest. Although they went for more than we wanted to pay for them, we weren't disappointed that we missed out. We didn't walk away completely empty-handed however!
Dorking eggs! (The dozen at the bottom of the picture - white)
We got them for a bargain at only $20. No-one seemed to want them as badly as we did! :) Even better, we met the owner of the eggs after the auction and he told us a little about them. That made my day, as he was obviously very proud of his Dorkings.
So, we drove 4 hours home again - carefully - wondering how we are going to incubate these eggs!
Monday I did lots of research, scoured the internet, and eventually posted a "Wanted" add in the Backyard Poultry website. Thankfully I got a response right away from a nice couple who had an incubator for sale. I drove down there that very afternoon and came home with this.. and some of their Wyandotte eggs that they kindly gave me!
(Well, the temp gauge is our old fridge thermometer from the campervan days!)
So, I set it up and turned it on when I got home, and left it on overnight and all today - to be sure the temperature is just right. Tonight is the big night when we'll put the eggs in! Hopefully the end result will be some Dorkings and Wyandottes of our very own!
Of course, being our first try at incubating, we're not likely to get 21 chickens at the end, but we'll be trying our very best to get as many as we can!
Oh, the temp is low in the picture because we put in some supermarket eggs that had been in the fridge. We're waiting until they're warm before we put the fertile eggs in. As I've written this, the temp has risen back up to 36.4, so not long to go now! Once it's back up to 37.7, we'll pop in the fertile eggs and start the long 21 day wait. :)
Expect updates! :)