Growing up, I would often go with my grandfather to buy and sell cows that he was raising. The day started with an early Saturday morning breakfast. If we had cows to sell, we would load them in a trailer and drive roughly an hour to the market.
A staple that I expected at the market was a great tasting hamburger, which often came from the cows that were sold to the butcher the prior week.
After walking around the yard to see the different cows that would be up for auction, we would take our place in the stands to let the bidding process begin.
Last week, I experienced how livestock auctions in the Philippines happen. It is not as chaotic as I had expected, but it did contain some humorous aspects that caught me off guard.
We arrived in the small village of San Antonio around 7 am. An area full of Brahma cattle, large pigs, horses, and hundreds of goats greeted us. Our purpose was to find the best goats to use in our goat program to help create income streams for families we are helping work their way out of poverty.
The men with me helped explain what they are looking for in a goat. It was a crash course in goat science to say the least. We looked at the teeth of the goats to help determine the age. We felt and milked the udders of female goats to find their quality of milk production. Then a detailed look over of the goat allows us to decide how healthy they are. Part of the goat buying process is being patient. The prices will work their way down to what you are willing to pay if you are patient.
We loaded our goats into back of our truck. Most of the animals however were strapped to the back of motorcycles or bikes. We use trailers in the states, motorcycles are the preferred method of transporting animals here.