Thursday, May 10, 2012

A visit to the stock yards

Yes, you got it right, a couple of weeks ago I visited the stock yards in Feilding a rural town about 30 minutes from Palmy. I went on a Friday as this is when all the farmers bring their sheep and cattle to be auctioned off.
The Feilding yards are the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere and hundreds of thousands of dollars exchange hands here every year. There are 350 holding pens all full of wee sheepy faces staring up at you!
 And there are 140 pens for large faces too but these cattle were not interested in those who were walking above them as they waited to be sold to other farmers.
I think I enjoyed watching and listening to the auctioneers working.
Why is it when it's crucial not to wink, blink, scratch, or nod that your nose is always itchy?
I was seriously hoping that I didn't buy anything while taking this photo!! (I mean, how on earth would I be able to go home and tell Mr M&M that there would be 319 sheep arriving shortly??)
Maybe one of them bought all those sheep?
The first stock sale was held here in 1880 when 100 cattle were sold. Now there are approximately 450,000 sheep sold here every year and 50,000 cattle.
A very interesting outing. And Feilding has some lovely shops too if you're ever in the area, check out their website for more info!

Carole x


Linda said...

Love the sheep!!!! Love the one black face in the top photo! Adorable!!!!

Ali Honey said...

Having lived in rural Rangitikei for the first 17.5 years of my life I am familiar with those scenes. Feilding sale yards were never the biggest back then. We sometimes used to visit there for shopping or come home from Palmy via Feilding.
Did you enjoy the smell? Sheep smells I like; cow smells less so.

Jennifer said...

Feilding I remember.....we drove through there but didn't stop, it was raining and very very cold......that was the day we drove through a blizzard on the Desert Road.

Janelle said...

Sheep are cute, but I enjoy them mostly for the wool. I go to my sister's little farm when I want to see animals close up. She has a variety of animals, but no sheep.

Dotti said...

This is an awesome post. There used to be this family ranch that raised lambs where we live. Every year we would buy a lamb and have it prepared for the freezer/dinner table. Their lambs were perfect...just the right amount of meat and marbeling of the fat...and taste to write home about! They (the ranch family) no longer exists...and we miss our lamb. Those sheep/lambs have such sweet happy faces.

Raewyn said...

Very entertaining post! I know that feeling of a developing itch at the wrong time! We had a lot of fun when we first started out buying reject cows at sales...the ones that noone else wanted - they got us started and were cheap!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Those sheepie faces are so cute! I so know what you mean about the incredible urge to scratch your nose during an auction (one of the reasons I don't go!).