Florida is one of the hottest markets for the state’s chicken, but one auctioneer who opened a bird auction last week has been hit with an unusual challenge: finding the right birds.
In an unusual move, Michael Smith of the Miami-Dade County Fair is auctioning off a bird, a bird he has been selling for years.
It’s the first time he’s ever sold the same bird at auction, he said, and he has never auctioned off an animal before.
The bird is a medium-size breasted black grouse from the Florida Everglades, about 20 miles north of Orlando.
Smith has been using a technique called “culling” to try to find birds he wants.
Smith, a former owner of a local bird farm, said he first heard about the bird sale from a friend who worked at the Everglade’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
He said the agency has been trying to get people to donate poultry to the program for decades, and the birds were often left out of the list of animals for auction.
Smith said he started to sell his birds because he wanted to help people.
He also wanted to give back to the local environment, and so he took the birds he found and auctioned them off.
He sold more than 500 birds in one day.
“I think people get to see what they’re getting,” Smith said.
A similar auction took place last month in Florida’s largest city, Tallahassee.
The bird was an American cockatiel, about one year old.
It was a little older than the bird at the Florida Fair, but was worth the price of admission.
It was sold for $1,500, and Smith said he plans to keep it for himself and donate it to the Evergreens.
Other auctions have raised more than $300,000 for the Evergreen Program.
This one, though, has raised $2,000 more.
Smith has not yet announced when he will return the bird.
He’s hoping the bird is sold soon, so he can give back.
“It’s the least I can do for the community and the Evergo’s,” he said.