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Hola de Golden CO

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 6girl, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. 6girl

    6girl In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2014
    Golden, CO
    Hello, this is my first post. I'm glad to have found this site, I've been lurking for a while and am impressed by the vast amount of knowledge shared here. Our coop is built (almost) our fence is done (almost) and we are almost ready to buy some chickens. One of our neighbors has 2 year old hens for sale and we plan on getting 10 or so and will be buying chicks this spring. So, my question, since I know just about nothing about chickens, what do I look for in these hens? He has black stars, red stars, barred rocks, and RIRs as well as a couple of orpingtons. Thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    Great that you finally joined! And yes, there is so much info available here, it is incredible. As for getting your new birds, you want to look them over for any ailments that might be plaguing them as health issues can destroy the entire flock. So pick them up and look at the face, looking for swollen or watery eyes, runny noses, pale combs, (if they are molting, the hens do go pale during this time but should be bright red any other time of year), brush the feathers back at the neck and body looking for red irritated skin or broken feathers as this could be a sign of bugs. Check the vent area by moving the feathers out of the way. You shouldn't see any bugs or bug eggs, the skin should be healthy looking, not red or swollen. You shouldn't see a lot of poop stains on the butt feathers. Sometimes a flake of poop might get stuck back there, but you don't want to see a lot feces stuck to the feathers back there as that can be several things you don't want. Feel the crops, making sure they aren't too big and squishy or too hard. (crops should be checked first thing in the morning however, but it never hurts to fondle them on new birds anyway. LOL)

    Then check the bottoms of the feet for any big puncture wounds. Set the bird down and watch them walk to make sure they aren't limping, stumbling or anything like this. The feather quality should be full and thick. Healthy amount of feathers. Ask the owners how old the birds are, if they are laying and how the egg quality is, how frequently they are laying.

    Lets see....I think I covered most things. At least all the things I might ask or look for. Good luck with your new flock and enjoy BYC!

    Oh, and you also might stop by our learning center for some tips and hints on keeping your new flock. Lots of good reads there...

  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Hola! Welcome to BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! TwoCrows gave you some very good advice. Are the hens two years old now and will be three in a couple of months? Do you know if they have been kept under lights in the winter? Do you plan on culling them this fall when they go into molt again, replacing them with your pullets? The older they are the less they generally lay, and 3 yo hens are usually culled by people whose primary purpose for having chickens is eggs. Also, when picking them out, production breeds, and especially ones like the commercial sex links are prone to reproductive problems as they get older, so I would consider staying away from them unless you know they are laying when you pick them up and if you do not plan on keeping them long term.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Also, check the leg scales. Make sure they are not raised, indicating leg scale mites. And look around the yard at the poop. You don't want to see any diarrhea. Solid firm poop with some white caps.

    Oh, and Kelsie has brought up some points to consider about the breeds. I just went for the health aspect of chickin' pickin'. LOL
    1 person likes this.
  6. Alright and [​IMG] great to have you onboard [​IMG]

    Almost is better then most I guess [​IMG]

  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hola, and welcome to BYC.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] the first two years of laying are generally the most productive for chickens - afterwards they slow down which is why people sell them. If you buy a lot, you will be replacing a lot and having to go thru integration issues again.
  9. Chickenpen

    Chickenpen In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2013
    Norman, Oklahoma
    Welcome 6girl to BYC! We have some experts that have a ton of knowledge. Stay safe with that traffic in Denver. I went to a Broncos game one year from Colorado Springs area and I don't think I will do that again. Bumper to bumper all the way.....I had fun tho. Again a big welcome to BYC!

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