Buying new chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jaybanana, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. jaybanana

    jaybanana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Down Under
    I've done some research on types of breeds that suit my climate, and I've read the article on what to look for in a chicken when you are buying it (to make sure it is healthy), but I had a few more questions.

    1. Should you only buy from reputable breeders for backyard egg layers? There is one commercial egg place near me that sells chickens, otherwise I think it is mostly people who just have extra chickens, or have decided to hatch some eggs selling them.

    2. Should you ensure that the chickens are vaccinated? If so, what against?

    3. What age are chickens able to be integrated with the rest of the flock without requiring extra food/care?

    4. Is there are particular breed of chickens who are less prone to illness, or any particular breeds to avoid? (after having and possibly losing a girl to being egg bound, I would prefer chickens who are known to be rather hardy, if there is such a thing!

    5. At what age can you tell the sex of a chicken? (So I can avoid accidently getting a rooster!)

    I may have some more questions later on!

    Thank you!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    1. That is up to you. Buying from a reputable breeder would be better, in my opinion. If possible go and look at the chickens, where they are kept, their living conditions etc. Check for any signs of disease etc. Check if their houses are clean, food and water is clean and good quality, if the chickens look well cared for.

    2. You can vaccinate against certain diseases. I personally go with "prevention is better than cure" and vaccinate my birds. There are some more info on vaccinations here: Helpful References & Links

    3. It would be better to get chickens of the same age as your flock if you don't want to feed them separate. But if you want to get younger chickens you can feed them all flock raiser and provide extra calcium for your layers by offering oystershell or crushed eggshells separate for them to help themselves as and when they feel they need it. **Please note that any new chickens, regardless of where you got them from should be quarantined for a month to make sure they don't carry pests or disease.

    4. Some chicken breeds are quite hardy and I've heard that the Egyptian Fayoumi breed is more disease resistant. I haven't looked into that though, so don't take my word for it! There is some great information on the different breeds here: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    5. Most chicks can be sexed fairly accurately by the time they are 6-7 weeks old. Some breeds like the Sex linked breeds can be sexed at birth though. There's more info on sex links here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/261208/sex-linked-information
     
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  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with everything that sumi wrote and have nothing to add. Good luck in whatever you choose to do and happy holidays!
     

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