Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Fair To Remember

The Spring 'Chicken Swap' at an Ohio fairground is quite the regional event!  A relative invited us to go since she wanted some peacocks and thought that if we saw chickens then the good husband might relinguish and eventually change his mind.  I had a plan you see...I told him it was a 'farm show'. Well, in his mind he envisioned farm machinery, and in my mind (and in reality) there were lots of animals. 


He agreed to get up early and even agreed the night before when she called to confirm our meeting time since we were going in the same vehicle.   Oh how things drastically changed when 6:30 arrived, and he abruptly refused to get out of the warm and cozy bed.  What? You just confirmed last night!  The bad husband blamed it on Sammy as he is the only dog without an electronic collar and Sammy would need to be let around noon to relieve himself.  Of course I had that planned out...the bad husband's brother could come and complete the simple chore, but noooo, that wouldn't do.  The real reason was the desire to return to lala land.  Fine, I threatened to bring home oodles of  baby chicks, goats, lambs, etc.  I could tell in his voice that he wasn't quite sure if I was serious and laughed nervously...Kritter Keeper was very upset at being stood up!
The morning traffic at 8:30 was backed up for miles.  Unsure of the cause and not familiar with the area, my friend stayed in the left lane passing hundreds of vehicles, mostly pick up trucks with lots of empty cages in the bed that told us we were close. I noticed absolutely no cars coming down from the north and told her pass the entrance since we couldn't get in the right lane and enter from that direction.  We saved probably a half an hour and avoided polluting the environment with another idling engine.  Luckily a shortcut allowed us to quickly park within walking distance. 
So many people! And, so many little cages containing roosters, chickens, goats, ducks, turkeys, puppies, etc.  And...sad to say, so many men resting newly purchased rifles on their shoulders.  Not to mention the hand guns that dangled from trigger loving fingers of the opposite sex. Those were not the visuals I preferred to see.
                                 (The black lab puppy in the back looked just like our Sammy!)

We stopped, looked and cooed at so many furry babies.  The breedy chickens were fun to see in person and much better than the images on my calendar.  I am glad I went but I left with a heavy heart knowing that some of the animals were not treated well. 

The miniature horse had dull eyes and showed no interest when I softly spoke.  A set of mini donkeys stared blankly into space.  The tiny black pig screamed as the fat lady in the wheelchair pulled it up out of the cage by it's little hind leg.   I kindly verbalized my dislike ....'oh no honey, don't do that, you'll hurt it!'  She smiled at me and gave the pig to my friend to cuddle.  The Great Pyranees owner had no clue if her litter of 8 pups were susceptible to hip displasya. Her perplexed look gave me my answer.  A dozen of ducks were stuffed into a small cage and I voiced my concern in a louder than normal tone to my friend....'oh that is awful, look how small that cage is with all those ducks!'  My peripheral vision saw the scruffy owner turn towards me noticing my pointed finger.   Sometimes a word or two said in a kind way or not directed at a specific person may provoke a positive change.  Who knows...but I do know I wouldn't buy these poor animals. Thankfully the peacock man was of a different type. His fowl was pricier but he knowledgable.  Brochures, website, business card, all helpful ways to connect with the new owners in case a question needed answering.  The peacock man was from Indiana and his birds were healthy and seemingly relaxed except for the two nervous pheasants who finally calmed down.  Poor things.  So out of their element.


                                                        (i loved the bronzed peacock!)
                                                            (learning how to clip the wing)
(learning how to properly administer meds)
It was interesting.  It was a different setting.  I learned a lot.  But I probably will not return though I was able to photograph affection for the animals.  I'm pretty sure the pair of hens cuddled in loving arms of a cute young couple with small children will be fine.  The new owner of a sweet little mini goat was wearing a harness instead of a collar which offers a more humane way to lead an animal. A young man was cuddling a goat unafraid that his outward display of love will harm his manly reputation.  The tall burly motorcycle man gently lifting the tiny min pin smiling broadly was pleasant to see though he did not buy the pup.  I am left wondering...did the sweet little jack russell that was shaking with fright, and all alone find a good home?  Will those little ducks be offered fresh water to swim in and the freedom to spread their wings? Or will it be like the person I met a year ago...






...who in the past bought several chickens from this fair and locked them in a small pen outside preventing them from free ranging, preventing them from eating delicious bugs and allowing for frost bite.  She even left them with no water (I watered them when I was there).  I live in an area that can be mean with neglect towards animals.  I also live in an area that is home to so many loving people who adore their furry or feathered or scaly friends.  So, I choose to hope that the beautiful animals I saw last Saturday will find better homes and be able to live lives full of love, good food, quality shelter and humans who are humane.  
Oh, and we teased the bad husband before we got home...my friend happily relayed to him that I found a nice Amish man and that I wasn't coming home for awhile.  Now that would be an 'affair to remember!' ; )



17 comments:

lisa said...

Looks like you had a good time and saw lots of different animals.

Feral Female said...

Looks like a wonderful time! Some very handsome animals there too!

Totally Timmy said...

I have a similar "fair" coming up and can't decide wether to go or not. I love seeing all the animals but hate the neglect that goes along with it.
I use to sell pigeons and chickens at this sale and sometimes turned people away and took the birds home because something just didn't seem right. The last two years though the humane society has been in full force at the fair so hopefully things get better.
Beautiful pictures..I love peacocks.

Steph said...

It's a good thing Henry didn't see those peacocks. He would've tried to blow them up! haha.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Dah gone it, put your foot down and bring home some baby chicks! You will not regret it this I guarantee. With all the critters on your place maybe country husband will not notice! By the way I love the photo of the peacock, lovely! Now go order some chicks!

Julia said...

Very interesting little fair. There are so many animals out there who could use better homes... Makes me sad.

That Jack Russel puppy photo is the best. You captured his longing and a tinge of sadness on his puppy face. It's like a sad-eagerness or expectancy just not fulfilled. My husband says he wants a JR terrier but I am not ready to take the plunge. Neither are my cats.

Rainy Day Farm said...

What a fun trip. I do hope those neglected animals find good and loving home. It is so much easier to take care of animals and love them. There is just no excuse for cruelty.

JC said...

I grew up going to the State Fair. Now, I'm too far away to get there but your looked interesting. I do hope all those animals find good homes ...

Misty Dawn said...

Outstanding post with outstanding photos. My Hubs would have INSISTED he go along, because he'd know that he'd need to be there, otherwise I'd be bringing home all sorts of critters to our farm :-D

AJ-OAKS said...

You have a heart of gold! Personally I quit going to gatherings like that. Couldn't take some of the things I saw when it came to the animals. And bringing it to others' attention did no good. Some people just don't have the common sense let alone the deceny and respect to have animals.
Great pics! Those peacocks are stunning.
The pic with the biker guy holding that tiny Min Pin made me smile ear to ear. Loved it.
Oh, and the goat with the harness. Good for the folks who bought him/her and having the before thought of having that harness ready.

Rural Rambler said...

Ah Kritter Keeper your heart is so good. When I die I want to come back as one of your kitties, or any of your Kritters that you share your life with :)

Kritter Keeper said...

thank you rural rambler, that is the best compliment! i have heard it before so i know you aren't just being one of my sweet bloggers! ;)

Rising Rainbow said...

Unfortunately too many people don't understand what is proper care for critters. It always breaks my heart. Sounds like this event would have pushed lots of my buttons.

Flat Creek Farm said...

How did I miss this one?? And quite awhile ago! I felt exactly the same way during our trip to an animal & bird swap last summer. I teared up several times during our visit, and hubby really thought I had lost it. It was so hard to explain, but I think you explained it perfectly. It isn't something I really desire to do very often - maybe never again. Hope you can add some feathers to your menagerie soon :) -Tammy p.s. that little white Jack Russell with the brown eye patch could be a twin to our Banjo girl. Breaks my heart!

林茹宣 said...

enjoy your artical, thank you .............................................

EH said...

Now that looks like one heck of a fair. I love the shots of the peacock

The Chicken Keepers said...

Oh, I love swap meets! We usually go to about 3 of them in the spring and one in the summer. They are so much fun and we always end up with some new critter. Sometimes we sell some of our animals there and that is also fun. Nice pictures. Check out our blog at thechickenkeepers.blogspot.com