Fresh festive birds attract day of bids around the ring

A pheasant is shown to the public, for sale during the Christmas poultry auction at York Auction Centre.  Pictures: Simon Hulme
A pheasant is shown to the public, for sale during the Christmas poultry auction at York Auction Centre. Pictures: Simon Hulme
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THEY ARE the crowning glory of the Christmas dinner table and they made for brisk trade around the ring as the festivities arrived at York Auction Centre.

Auctioneers donned in Santa hats sold birds sourced from farms across the region at the annual Christmas poultry sale - an event replicated at auction marts across Yorkshire in the run up to Christmas Day.

Some 611 birds were sold to 189 different buyers as the auction centre was opened up to the public, with sales of geese proving competition for the traditional turkey.

Auctioneer, Rod Cordingley, said: “The trade for geese was certainly good this year and when we talked to the butchers who we had round the ring for the trade sale on Saturday, they were saying there is more demand for turkey crowns than for whole birds. One butcher said that 70 per cent of his trade had been turkey crowns this year.

“I think they are becoming more popular because they fit easily in the oven and you’re not left with the same level of wastage.”

Trade was buoyant, Mr Cordingley said, with oven ready turkeys selling for an average of £5.18 per kg and achieving a top price of £7.69/kg.

Oven ready geese fetched the highest average price of £5.60/kg, and a top price of £9.28/kg.

Chickens and ducks were also sought after with oven ready duck averaging a price of £4.29/kg and chicken selling, on average, for £3.10/kg.