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 Post subject: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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I have been sent this article to put onto byp to help those new to the poultry fancy.
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caladenia.


Purchasing Birds Tim Drewitt
This is intended as a guide only, to help newcomers to poultry.


When buying birds you do need to be careful. There are many people out there who will love to pass off their inferior birds onto others who do not know better.

Some hints for purchasing chooks and settling them in are as follows.

1 The yards and pens should be reasonably clean. Chooks do tend to make a lunar landscape if confined, but pens should still be kept in good order. If the yards have a foul smell, walk away. Often in the wet, yards can be a little foul smelling, but there are acceptable levels of smell.

2 You should be able to see or request to see the breeding birds, especially if you are after pure birds. Check that the parents do conform to the ‘standard’ of bird that you are looking for and that they look fit and healthy. Bright red combs/wattles and nice clean legs are essential.

3 Birds and chooks do need to be wormed. Ask the breeder when the adults were last wormed. If buying Point of Lay birds, they should have been wormed at least once.

4 Birds should not have missing feathers. Especially in young birds this can indicate cannibalism. Once started, this is nearly impossible to stop and can result in the death of birds. Any blood or bare skin on a bird is not a good sign.

5. Check the birds for lice, a few is ok as it is very hard to keep a flock 100% lice free. It is easily fixed. However if a bird is covered in Lice it will be in poorer health than required.

6 Rescuing battery hens at the end of their laying cycle is not as good a idea as it sounds. These hens have been reared and kept in very sterile environment, and have a lot of trouble adjusting to their new conditions. Many will die from normal soil born diseases that a healthy chicken would not have a problem with as their immunity is full.

9. Chickens can be vaccinated, however it is not essential. I prefer my birds to have a healthy natural immunity. Vaccinating simple introduces a different strain of the disease, which can be passed onto non vaccinated birds within the same flock. When purchasing ask if the birds are vaccinated to ensure you don’t mix both vaccinated and non vaccinated birds. Once birds reach adult hood this is less of a problem.

10. Birds should have clean clear eyes, clear nostrils and no wheezing sounds from the chest. Any of the above – walk away. It is important to remember that poultry diseases in general will not effect humans – however, they will infect and effect other poultry very easily. There is nothing more heartbreaking than bringing home some new birds only to have them and your existing flock infected and losing them one by one.

If a bird appears lethargic or slow, closing its eyes and rocking – it is sick and nothing should be bought from that pen.

11. Ask what feed they are giving the birds. Young chickens should be on starter until 8 weeks. From 8-16 weeks they are on growers and from there they can be on either finisher or regular adult feed. It is important to make sure that especially the young birds have been fed correctly. If you are purchasing adult birds, make sure you know what they are being fed so you can use roughly the same feed to reduce stress during the move.

12. Take a box or carry cage. Many breeders dislike it when people forget transport for the birds. It should be well ventilated and fit inside the car. Do not park and leave birds in the car for any period of time.

13. Once you get them home allow them to get used to their new environment before trying to tame or cuddle them. They will be stressed after the trip and should have a few days – a week to settle in. This is best done leaving them confined to their sleeping quarters/main run to ensure they go back to bed and don’t give you the run round at dusk.

14. After a week, allow them out-side. Enjoy your new birds and wait for the eggs. Some breeds will take a good few weeks to come back on the lay after a move so you may need to be patient.
For worming medicine – I use the Knox Bird Clinic – Moxidectin.

I feed Barastock Golden yolk, with mixed grains, free range, and plenty of veggie scraps.

Shell grit can be purchased from most produce stores along with your poultry grains. Do not buy from large supermarkets – it is a rip off.

Large poultry breeders and egg farms are not always the best place to buy birds.

Auctions are fun and a good place to buy if you know what to look for. Do your research, and don’t buy simply because you have come so far. Prepare yourself that you may not get exactly what you were after.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:45 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks Caladenia that is great information.......very useful fro the newcomers to the poultry world :D

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:22 am 
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Swan
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just like to add something the Barastock Grain mix has shell grit and laying pellets in it i feed mine a mix of stuff as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Brisbane
Thank you very much...

i'm trying to learn what I can before getting my girls, and I would be devistated to loose any when I bought them home.

I will keep reading, asking, questioning....everything...

Like I tell my boys (Human, biggins and littins) there is no silly question and no correct answer,.. Just the ones we know...and the ones we learn from...

Tammy


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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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All of this is very good advice but somewhat at odds with a simliar post some months ago providing advice to sellers (clandastine meetings in Woolies car parks, making sure buyers don't follow you home etc etc etc).

There is no way anybody should be expected to buy birds unseen, not know what conditions they have been transferred from and have a complete lack of follow-up service (although the latter is rarely required).

There must be a degree of trust between buyer and seller. If one party is not happy then the sale doesn't proceed.


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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:43 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Just wanted to add...

After a breeding season, some hens will be a tad barebacked, so will have missing feathers until Moutlting is through. I have some Plymouth Rocks here and Oh my do they look a state at the moment....lol

So yes, do consider moulting and also the end of a breeding season.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I wish I'd seen this yesterday! Very helpful, will keep searching through this forum and learning all I can!


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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Flock Master
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Good Jacs, but quick question, Wheres 7 and 8???????

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:51 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Now that is a good question.......

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Just bumping so I can find this thread again.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:14 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Very handy thread thankyou as a sometimes seller it has helped me as to what expectations I could expect from buyers.
The point I feel a bit uncomfortable about and wonder what others think is number 2 that buyers should expect to see the breeding birds - I have cages at the front of my property in which I put my birds that are for sale to show buyers my breeding birds means that they have to walk through my yard past my clothes line and in general get a good view of my property.

I have nothing to hide and will always be honest and say a bird is a xbred if not 100% sure so is number 2 a must for potential buyers?
Cheers Judy


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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:20 am 
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Champion Bird
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sbred, I agree about not wanting strangers tramping through your yard! Can you maybe take photos of your breeding birds and show them to potential buyers?

I think seeing the parents isprobably more important for people who want show-quality birds and might be concerned about the parents' feathering etc. As someone who has recently bought backyard layers I would be more interested in seeing the eggs and/or egg-laying records.

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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing Birds
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Gallant Game
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:thumbs:

I am glad this has been posted here and its great to know that its all good common sense and I didn't do anything "wrong" to begin with.

Thank you so much for posting :D

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