First - here's the ad
Edited by booker81 - 12/29/10 at 3:53pm
As for other fowl, I would take them, but haven't had any offers yet.
As for health, I grew up with chickens, raised chickens in FFA, and also took the meat classes at college (when I briefly was majoring in Animal Science). If it's an ill bird (haven't gotten one yet), it should show signs on the outside or the inside - runny eyes/nose and depressed on the outside, or organ issues on the inside. I really check out the lungs and liver closely for spots, discoloration or any "weirdness", just like I check the wild ducks, geese and turkey we hunt and eat. Forgot that too - I've hunted for years, and have processed more wildfowl than I could possibly count. Only a few times have I thrown away a bird because of issues - one I remember was a wild turkey with what was probably blackhead based on his head, and another was a duck that had a funky liver going on.
As for eating something you don't know what's in it, well, I consider that exactly what folks do when they buy meat at the grocery store! LOL!
I also tend to hang around and chat with the folks I get birds from, and visit with their flock, and that way I can get a good idea of the overall flock health at their place. Chicken folks seem to be a friendly sort, and are more than happy to share their stories - along with their feeding regimen, medication if any, coop design, favorite breeds and anything else chicken related.
Finally, I still don't take chances. I care for my chickens early the morning of pickup and slaughter day, and then shower and change. I have a separate old pair of boots and jacket that doesn't go out to my coop/run, and I wear that instead of my regular coat and shoes/boots. I do all the pickup and processing during the day, then the boots and coat go back again, clothes into the washer, and I take a shower. I don't want to transmit anything from my flock to another (in the rare case they have something), and I don't want to transmit anything back to my flock. The chickens I pick up are taken from the crate in the Expedition to the garage, and then straight to the house, and don't go near the coop area. The transport crates stay in the garage and are bleached after use.
I also have decided to do this every few weeks, until I don't need anymore for a long time. A few weeks ago I did 8 banties and 7 large fowl, this weekend is up to 10 large fowl. That's enough to make it worth it for me, enough to keep me busy for the day between getting them and processing, but not so much that I'm overwhelmed or can't get them done. I set up the times for pickup with the folks I contact, so I can do it all in one day. I have a few dog crates, so I keep each group separated, what I DON'T need is a bunch of chicken fights going on in the garage!
I think I got all of the questions!!