Sunday, May 22, 2011

The meat market

Saturday morning we took the kids and drove up to the Kirbyville auction barn.  It is one of the few livestock auctions left around here. A good number of the small towns around here had livestock auction barns at one point, but over the years most of them have closed down.  If you Google Kirbyville auction barn a the first thing you find is a site called Manta that says the it is estimated at doing five to ten million in sales, but somehow I can picture this place doing that kind of business.  It is easy to see this place as it must have been in the early sixties when it was built, filling up all the pens and churning through the sales, but now only a couple pens had cattle inside. 

This one is about forty minutes away and is probably the closest one left in the area.  I would guess it had around a hundred and fifty seats and on our visit probably forty people were inside.  Definintly an old school kinda place, one of the few places left where you can smoke while you do business inside.  In nineteen sixty five this place was probably packed full a chain smoking, cowboy hat wearing, ranchers and farmers every Saturday.  These types of places were the center of comerce for a rural areas, but even when this was built the small farmers and ranches were probably fading fast as businesses and really only surviving as hobbies.

We mostly came to see the goats and pigs. Both, sold for for twenty to thirty dollars each for young ones and the grown goats could go up to a hundred and fifty.  The only grown pig for sale was a boar and since you can't eat it it only sold for thirty bucks even though it was a big fella. Most people were interested in buying feeder pigs.  They will fatten it for five or six months and then butcher in the winter.  We aren't quite ready for livestock yet, and when the girls realized we were serious about not buying anything today they were not interested in waiting through the cattle auction.

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