The sounds of the barnyard filled the air at the Poultry Swap on Saturday.
The event, hosted by the Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association and New Cal Farms was the first this year with two prior dates being cancelled.
The chilly weather did not stop people from stopping by to see what new additions they might find for their farms.
One of the vendors, Terry Bouchard, had a variety of chicks for sale including chocolate and lavender Orpingtons.
The breed is very friendly and make great layers, said Bouchard.
“My five chocolate hens lay four to five eggs a day.”
Both Lavender and Chocolate Orpingtons are well-feathered and thrive in cooler climates making them a good bird for the Cariboo. Plus, the roosters get huge so they make great meat birds, she said.
Not everyone was out looking for birds.
Sophie La Prairie and Simon Perreault of Trouble Maker Acres moved to Lac la Hache just over a year ago.
They tried cows at first but decided it wasn’t for them, said Perreault. The two settled on sheep and rabbits and were at the swap buying three new rabbits.
La Prairie said rabbits “are amazing.” She names some of them after movie stars like Geena Davis.
“They do have their own personalities,” she laughed.
They first raised them as dog food but switched to meat.
“You need to learn to cook them right. Braising them is the trick,” she said.
The widest assortment of animals was at the Harper Valley Farm vehicle with African Geese, Angora rabbits, lambs and Nigerian dwarf goats.
Andrew and Isabelle Harper run 50 head of sheep and goats. The Nigerian dwarf goats, which grow about knee high, are less destructive and kid-friendly, said Isabelle.
“They’re smaller and don’t eat as much.”
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Besides milk, Isabelle said they produce soap and cheese from the goats.
Their Angora rabbit is a wool breed. The long hair makes it good for knitting or spinning. “There’s no lanolin either,” said Andrew.
Isabelle added that Angoras are “super chill, super calm” so they make a good pet breed too.