FL laws on selling sick poultry?


9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
DeLand, FL
Hello anyone out there... I purchased 3 pullets from a guy yesterday, and last night noted that they had diarrhea, respiratory discharge, a horrible odor, and lice! I told him I wanted to bring them back for a refund, as they were not healthy enough to be on property with my other birds. He declined, I took them back anyway and left them there, now he has emailed and told me that he will send us a check for a refund, but by the way he has already resold the birds to someone else that is "thrilled" with their quality (lucky them... hope they like antibiotics and pesticides). He had chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs all in his little back yard in a development. I am a veterinarian, but I work with small animals. Will be getting on the phone tomorrow with the state to see what if anything should be done. Does anyone out there know if this is "normal" in the industry, as he stated it was? He basically said so what, give them antibiotics and sevin dust...
Yucky! We'll be waiting until spring when our chicks grow up for more eggs, I guess... not going to risk this again!
Should he be selling birds with those issues? No, he shouldn't be, but I think that you need to take some responsibility for taking them home in the first place. Those issues should have been obvious when you inspected them when you went to look at them.
truth be told... I did not want to touch the birds without gloves on... they were covered in poo... and I am new to chickens, so I did not know if that was normal or not... I know it is not normal for MY flock, but they are babied and cleaned up after daily... but you are correct, it was my bad. I still think the fact that he took them and resold them, knowing they were sick, means he is irresponsible. Other people likely know even less than I do about that kind of stuff!
If you are a vet, Then you should have known they were sick.

I would have never bought chicks that were covered in poo.... He shouldn't be selling chickens in this condition, but you also should have known better if the conditions are as bad as you state they are.

I wish you luck.
Sounds like a series of mistakes. While you are learning from it, he apparently isn't.

Can you pick up some avian training? I know avian vets are hard to find! My vet ended up getting chickens because of me.......and sometimes I can teach him something, though it's usually the other way around.
Yeah, as I already stated... MY BAD, clearly I learned from this. I am not sure why you guys are all on me about this. I am still learning, and I clearly just learned that YES, my standards for health are the standards that should be followed. If a client brings in a puppy or kitten that is full of parasites and sick, our state has a law requiring the seller to take the pet back for a full refund. They are supposed to also have a health certificate for sale. I am merely asking if anyone knows what FL statutes are on this issue. I'm trying to protect others from these shady dealings and get hopefully stop the guy from keeping animals in these conditions. My birds here I fine... I quarantine.
Some people just like to start trouble

I don't know if Florida has any statutes on selling sick chickens, but if the conditions are as bad as you say a call to the humane society wouldn't hurt. They are animals after all
Yes, actually... at the upcoming continuing education conference I will be attending, there are many courses on backyard poultry that I intend to take. I also have medical books on birds that I have been reading. I guess I am just amazed that someone could have birds that sick right in their backyard with their kids around... it took me by surprise, and I did not follow my gut reaction - I found it hard to say to him that the birds seemed poorly kept. At any rate, I will likely be seeing chickens if there is a need for it in my area. I certainly could have treated the birds that I got, but my point is that you should not pay money and end up with sick animals. If your animals that you already have GET sick, that is when you have to figure out how to treat them.
Hmm. You are a veterinarian? Eight years of college education, four of which are veterinary school? I'd suggest that more than a wee bit of responsibility lies on your shoulders, even if birds are outside your specialty area. It seems to me that you should be FAR more qualified than the average citizen to notice health problems with birds when picking them up.

While I agree that a seller should not be offering animals that are in this condition, I'd also suggest that you bear far more responsibility in making such a purchase than the average citizen who is not practicing veterinary medicine. While as a dog/cat vet (I'm assuming that is your focus) you would not be expected to have a detailed understanding of conditions that affect birds and how to treat them, it seems you should have at least a basic awareness of the types of problems birds can have, or at least should notice more easily than Joe citizen when there are problems. Or, at least I would think you would have perused basic literature (even general consumer literature) about signs of illness in poultry before making such a purchase. As a vet, you should be more aware than most of the kinds of problems that could result from purchasing sick animals.

I'm not saying that the other guy is blameless. However, I have a hard time dredging up much sympathy for a practicing vet who wants a refund for purchasing obviously sick animals that were covered in poo at the time of purchase and living in unsanitary conditions.
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As for finding out the laws about this, call your state Department of Agriculture. That would be the place to get that info.

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