How do I know a good breeder from bad


7 Years
Nov 14, 2012
East Bay, CA
Let me start off by saying that I am new to raising chickens but I have done years of homework before I moved to a home where I could finally keep backyard chickens. I want to start finding specific breeds of chickens from breeders, not hatcheries. I am looking to raise rare to critical breeds from Double Laced Blue Barnvelders to Sulmtalers. I am also looking to hatch all my eggs using broody hens like Silkies and Cochins.

But, how do I know if a breeder is any good? I am a professional dog trainer and I know all about spotting bad dog breeders. But how does it go for chicken breeders? I never thought about it until I was researching Marans and correct type and EGG COLOR! I guess there is A LOT more to finding the right breeder that I thought.

I will say that my idea of a good breeder is someone who is breeding for quality birds in regards to health, egg laying ability, egg shell quality, and historically correct type. I always prefer animals that are true to their breed. Don't even get me started on German Shepherd Dogs!

Anyway, any input is food for thought in my book. I will not poo poo anyone who prefers hatchery birds or common breeds over birds from breeders or dying breeds.

Well heres to check for..
Look at the coops. Clean? Easy to clean? Over crowded? Yes to all of these? Then mark a little check in your head, lol.
Ask to see the eggs - Are they correct color?
Ask the fertility rate
Look at the birds prior - look sick? Look like good type?
Just remember to see what a sick chicken looks like, a good setup, and what the birds should look like. Also remember - Are the breeders very well known? Well known breeders will usually have good stock

BTW, kudos to raising rare breeds
Read reviews and ask for their credentials and history and information on the birds line. Make sure that you do your research and know what the breed standard is. Look at all of their birds, where they are living and how they are taken care of. Ask lots of questions. If they do not want to show you these things then don't buy.

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