Goliad livestock tradition: Dressing up auction animals (video)
GOLIAD - Garrett Haney moseyed into the Goliad Livestock Auction on Saturday, holding a broiler plan, two boxes of Stove Top stuffing and a reserve champion chicken.
He's been showing chickens at the livestock auction for the past nine years, and he knows the more tongue-in-cheek he can get with the costumes, the more his bidders will be thinking about bird-in-mouth.
"It's more interesting than holding a plain bird," said Haney, 18, a senior at Goliad High School. "This way, they see what they get to eat."
Haney wasn't alone in his poultry decorating.
Many participants in the show said dressing up the livestock animal is tradition in Goliad County.
Matthew Kutz's grand champion turkey was wheeled out before the audience in a Texas A&M University decorated wagon. And 9-year-old Matthew's turkey, Black Feather, was clad in Aggie bandanas and other merchandise.
"I love the Aggies, and my family has a long history with them," said Matthew, who sold his champion bird for $4,800. "I hoped the (bidders) would think it was really cool."
After Matthew's turkey, reserve champion winner, Jacob Hahn, wheeled out a St. Patrick's Day holiday themed turkey.
The champion bird wore a green felt top hat and matching striped tie; the bird's cart was decorated with green shamrocks that read "Happy St. Patrick's Day."
"It makes it more fun," said Jacob, 12.
His mother, Rhonda Hahn, agreed.
"We've been showing for the past seven years, and we've seen all kinds of things," Hahn said. "As long as you don't dye them or glitter them, you can put whatever you want on them."
At the livestock show, turkeys and chickens were dressed up to look like Easter baskets and Thanksgiving dinner spreads.
Other livestock were decorated as well, including pigs and rabbits, but those showing poultry had the most elaborate costumes.
Matthew's mother, Dana Kutz, said it's their family's first experience raising animals for the livestock show, so they were excited to hear about the Goliad tradition of costuming their bird at the auction.
Mother and son both agreed they weren't sure how they planned to dress up next year's bird, but they know for certain there's one costume they won't be using.
"It won't be University of Texas. I can promise you that," Matthew said.