Buying from a chicken Auction????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by luckychik, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. luckychik

    luckychik In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    I went to a chicken auction last march and bought a couple chickens and some hatching eggs. I never thought anything about it. Brought them right home and put them with my other chickens! Thank goodness nothing happen!! I was reading that chickens from auctions can be risky! With illness and other things that could go wrong! One of my chickens did have a hole in it and I ran up a $40 vet bill! My question is would you buy from a auction and what are some tips to buying a chicken from a auction? Thanks!
  2. CAjerseychick

    CAjerseychick Songster

    Jun 25, 2012
    Northern California!
    No I would never buy from an auction! I wouldnt know what to look for.
    I do know you are supposed to have a quarunteened area away from your other birds to keep them in for several weeks-- and be aware that some diseases live in the soil for years so if the chicken has it, that is what you are up against....
  3. luckychik

    luckychik In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    I was really lucky I guess! What about eggs? Would you buy eggs to hatch from one?
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I have one tip for buying from an auction: DON'T! I would not buy birds nor hatching eggs either. Some diseases are passed along through the egg, some are not. So if those eggs are contaminated it's no better then bringing home a sick adult bird in my opinion. You can read over and over on this forum about people who brought home auction birds, sometimes even quarantined them, and had illness show up. To me it's just not worth it. a bird who is a carrier can look perfectly fine for a very long time, showing no noticeable signs of disease. Illness may or may not show up during quarantine.

    I raise my own chicks and never have need to buy adult birds. If I did it would be from a reputable, NPIP certified breeder. You always run a risk in bringing home new, adult birds but there are ways to minimize it. Auction birds with their unknown background are a huge risk.

    I guess it also depends on what you've experienced in the past with your flock. Those who have never had the hassle of dealing with a disease outbreak, and the upset of deciding whether to treat sick birds or to cull an entire flock and hope that you can kill off whatever disease remains on your premises... if you've never experienced all of that then a person might be more inclined to say "sure, auction birds are fine.." I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone with experience dealing with an outbreak of any disease to feel inclined to take the risk!
  5. luckychik

    luckychik In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    Ok! Thanks for the info! I would be heart broken if any of my birds got sick from something I did! Maybe I will just go sale some instead!
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    What diseases get passed along in the egg?

    I also have a closed flock, meaning I either hatch my own or buy day old chicks from the feed store/hatchery. I'd be too skeered to buy chickens from an auction, and I used to buy horses from one all the time!
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Songster

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    If you do buy chickens from an auction, make sure you quarantine them from other birds for at least two weeks, and I recommend a month. Also, remember your own birds may carry and be immune to some diseases also and could infect the ones you buy. Maybe your birds were immunized for Mereks when they were day old chicks and the new birds were not. They could catch Mereks from your soil or even from your birds.

    Chicks and eggs are a little different since most young chicks in an auction are separated from other chicks in boxes. If you have to brood them, you have a quarantine time already. I would think hatching eggs would be the same as buying them through the mail. You still have the time in the incubator and brooder for diseases to kick in. We have a local auction where the two hatcheries in the area will bring unsold chicks into the auction to sell. You know the hatcheries are NPIP certified so it should give you some protection. Smart sellers with NPIP status will also labels their birds as coming from a NPIP farm.

    I have bought chickens from auctions, quarantined them and haven't had any problems. You do have to look hard at the chickens prior to buying though. Look for sores, frost bitten combs (no points or short points) lack of color in the legs (old), scaly legs, and bad feet. Also try to look at their vents if you can. By blowing on feathers you can see lice and/or mites eggs etc.

    If you are going to an auction where the cages are sold with the birds, don't be fooled by cage quality. Some good chicken keepers are cheap and will use anything they have on hand to make cages from. This time of the year, you can't really go on feather quality other than assuming the chickens are older and may be going through their molt.
  8. luckychik

    luckychik In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    Thanks for all the information!!!
  9. TheChips

    TheChips Chirping

    Sep 28, 2013
    I was at a chicken auction today in Michigan. I would have to say I was disgusted in how the chickens were being treated. A lot looked sick, injured, kept in small crates. Full grown turkeys in small crates too!!
    and mistreated. I felt so terrible for every single one of these beautiful birds.

    I decided not to buy a chicken from the condition most were in. There was only a small handful of healthy ones and they were probably being contaminated by the others. I didnt want to risk my very special flock.

    Makes me so glad the chickens I have I treat as if they were diamonds. I really wish others did too. Ive kinda been upset all day from seeing it:(

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: