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Mrs Frugal

Choosing chickens at auction or from a breeder

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Offspring posted this very useful checklist to ensure that you bring healthy hens home from a poultry auction or a breeders...

 

Look for happy, healthy hens, but basically it's just common sense stuff...

 

Make sure their eyes look alert and healthy

Make sure their wings haven't dropped

Make sure their leg scales aren't peeling away too much

Make sure their comb is nice, plump, red and healthy (if it is a really deep red, then it has reached POL and is in the process of laying)

Again make sure the wattles also appear healthy and redish

Make sure it is not limping when walking

Check that it isn't too light when you pick it up as it might not be eating

Check that the claws are not too long and that the feet are alligned correctly with the legs

Check that the top and bottom of the beak is alligned

 

You can generally tell a healthy bird as it will be constantly alert/looking around and it should have a proud look about itself, holding it's head up high, walking about with purpose etc.

 

Don't worry too much about feather loss, it could either be molting or it could have just been kept in close confinement with other chickens. They should grow back fairly quickly.

 

I hope this has given you enough to start you off?

 

Good luck at the auction! :wink:

 

Following this advice could make all the difference to the way your chicken keeping experience begins. Better to bring home healthy hens than have to start off with trips to the vets.

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