We live approximately 5 hours from Columbus Ohio, the location for the Ohio National Poultry Show. In my last post, Attending the Ohio National Poultry Show, I highlighted the show itself and all it’s wonderful chicken goodness.
Because we would be traveling to Ohio, we decided to make it a weekend trip and include a visit to Kidron. The area around Kidron, Ohio is home to one of the largest Amish settlements in the US. It’s also home to the incredible Lehman’s Hardware Store! Lehman’s was originally opened to supply the local Amish with home wares, focusing on non-electric appliances. But now they carry an assortment of supplies that any homesteader would be interested in.
There’s home milking supplies, a candle making section, gardening tools, soap making, crocks for fermenting, hand laundering with washboards, ringer washers and clothesline pulley systems. There’s an entire room devoted to lanterns. The store is HUGE and takes quite a while to get through.
I thought for this post I would mention their chicken keeping supplies. I snapped a few photos while I was there.
We spent all of Friday in Amish country, then got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Columbus for the Ohio National Poultry Show.
My first and most exciting purchase was of course chickens themselves. If you’ve followed me here on Community Chickens you know that I have an affinity for Buff Orpington’s.
I have been trying to locate a show quality pair for several years now and every time I get something lined up, something seems to happen that makes it all fall through.
But this year it finally happened! When we arrived at the show I made a beeline to the selling section so I could check out the selection of Orpington’s for sale. I found a pair which looked small for Orpingtons. The seller at first told me that they were young and hadn’t grown to full size yet. However, the rooster’s comb showed signs of frostbite scarring so I knew that they were old enough to have lived through 1 winter which meant they were full grown. After talking to the seller he finally admitted that they were crossed with another breed. So a word of advice…you have to know what you’re buying and what a good example of the breed looks like.
So onward I went. I found another bunch of 5 for sale 3 roosters and 2 hens. I was second in line as a family was ahead of me and were selecting a pair to take home. I do think they got the best hen of the choice but I’m very happy with the rooster that I was able to choose from. He’s very wide across the back, but the hen has some peppering in her tail (brown speckled feathers that are common but undesirable in the breed.)
As I was purchasing the first pair, I sent Zach out to scope the rest of the selling section for more Orpingtons. He found some even more promising birds.
I finished up the deal with the first seller, wrote my name and the word “sold” on the tag on the cage and made my way to the other seller.
His birds were BEAUTFUL!!!
I selected a gorgeous rooster and two beautiful hens. I made it just in time as a couple were coming to buy up the whole bunch. They ended up purchasing the rest of his stock.
Buying chickens at the show is a sort of an adrenaline rush… it’s the Black Friday for chicken keepers. You don’t want to purchase the first thing you see, but quality chickens sell fast.
You also have to hunt down the person selling the birds. The show is huge and the sellers are often off showing birds they have on exhibition or getting lunch. Many times you have to leave your name and phone number on the cage and hope that they call you back while you’re still at the show.
Luckily, I was able to find the sellers quickly just by asking a few people “Are these your birds?”
Oh my, there were so many beautiful chickens for sale I could have filled the back of our pick up truck but I was very well behaved and only purchased Orpingtons…an exercise in self control.
Zach was on the lookout for some Rhode Island Reds but there were none for sale.
After we got our chicken purchases settled we visited the rest of the show and the vendors.
In the front entrance hall of the showroom is where the vendors set up selling their wares of everything chicken related. There’s table after table of beautiful wooden traveling cages, wateres and feeders, supplements, grooming supplies and it goes on and on.
I was almost equally excited about this next purchase as I was the chickens. The current edition of the American Standard of Perfection 44th Edition
This is a must have for anyone interested in showing or breeding chickens. This book outlines in detail what every single individual recognized breed and color of each breed is supposed to look like according to the standard.
This book represents years upon years of generations of breeding efforts and is an invaluable tool for chicken keepers.
At the show I also got a bundle of leg bands so that I can keep track of who I am breeding and their offspring. The metal ones are supposed to be the most comfortable and durable.
I also purchased a dozen of these cage feeder trays. $20 for a dozen seemed like a great deal!
I picked up some electrolytes to add to the chicken’s water after they were settled to help with the stress of being transported.
Which leads to a funny story. On the way home we stopped at a Subway sandwich shop connected to a gas station. We ran in to get our food and choose a booth by the window where we could see the parking lot. The roosters were crowing in the back of the truck and people pumping gas were talking to each other asking where on earth was that crowing coming from.
All in all it was a chicken lover’s dream trip and I had such an amazing time. I can’t wait to visit next year. Hopefully Zach will find his Rhode Island Reds. I hope to see you there!