On Tuesday, Hatherleigh had its live poultry auction for those happy to dispatch and prepare their own Christmas turkey, goose or duck. But for those of a more squeamish nature, today was the oven ready auction, all dressed not to kill but to impress. Rows and rows of trestle tables were covered in birds, from an 11 kilo organic goose (that's over 24 lbs in old money) to cockerels with no obvious provenance, there was something for every taste and purse. Each bird was auctioned individually, and I suspect some would be going home with turkeys too big for their ovens. Many of the birds still had their feet and heads, even if the innards had been removed, and some had brown labels tied to their legs declaring from which local farm they originated. I was particularly enchanted by the geese whose heads were wrapped in Christmas paper; it stopped you from looking it in the eye until you got it on the chopping board.
I wasn't buying - one thing I'm not short of is home-reared goose - but I couldn't resist taking a moment out of veg shopping to see the scale of the thing. The photo shows but a smidgen of what was on offer.