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How to be happy with your purchase

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by catwalk, May 26, 2011.

  1. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    This thread is prompted by so many posts lamenting that "I got screwed" or "I don't think this is a Cochin." Nobody wants to be unhappy with a purchase, and I honestly don't think sellers want you to be unhappy, either. Granted, some are out to just unload their junk, but who's to say that you're the one who has to buy it? I don't mean to offend, but it upsets me when someone rants on here that they were "duped" into buying single combed smooth feathered clean legged Silkies. It doesn't have to happen. Following are my two cents, and I hope others will post with more great tips.

    1. Know what you want - Nobody can sell you what you want if you yourself don't know. Look up the standards of the breed you want and be able to identify the birds. Even if it's just the basics, like "Silkies have silkied feathers and crests", or "leghorns have white ears". Know your basic breed shape and size, your leg, skin, and ear colors, know your comb type, know your plumage patterns.

    2. Don't count on the seller to know what he has - Just because somebody has something, it doesn't mean that he knows what it is. Maybe it was sold to him "as a Serama", but he didn't do his homework either. It isn't your job to educate him, but you also don't have to repeat his mistake. Also, don't trust the seller to know SQ. He may sell you the best he has, but it still might not win any shows.

    3. Buy eggs or chicks with caution - You can't tell by looking at an egg or a chick what it is going to look like as an adult. If you are looking for nice show quality RIR's, you should buy nice show quality RIR's instead of answering a CL ad for "Rode Eyelan Red chicks."

    4. Be very specific when you ask questions - Instead of "do these birds lay dark eggs?" ask "show me an example of the eggs I can expect to get". Dark eggs to the seller may be different than dark eggs to you.

    5. Insist on healthy birds - Know the signs of illness, inspect for mites, smell the bird's face. Hang out until you can see it's droppings. You don't have to go into the chicken's living quarters, but be wary when you are kept out of it. And, of course, quarentine when you get home.

    6. Don't be afraid to walk away - Even if you drove for days for your birds, trust your instincts when they tell you to step back. Other opportunities will present themselves, and you will be armed with some experience.

    7. Chalk some purchases up to learning experiences - You don't have to be angry about every transaction that doesn't please you. Be willing to learn from your chickens and make a better decision next time. You may have to (literally) eat your mistakes, but you can add to your list of criteria when chicken shopping.
     
  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I think some of your advice could be used in life in general. I come from a family of blamers, it is always somebody elses fault. I myself have come home with 6 pullets that turned out to be 2 roos and 4 pullets, BUT the 4 ended up being egg machines, so I blame them for selling me their best 4 pullets!!!!!LOL
     
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    You don't have to go into the chicken's living quarters, but be wary when you are kept out of it.

    I don't agree with this at all. I do NOT let anybody go near or into my pens/brooder area/etc. I will not risk my birds health or risk having somebody bring in diseases into my flock. If they don't like that I won't let them near my birds/coops, fine with me. Then don't purchase anything. If your smart, I don't think you should allow any people you don't know/other chicken owners to go near your birds or into your coops.

    Also, in some states, if you are a NPIP certified breeder, you are not allowed to have any non-npip chicken owners near your flock or it voids your npip clean status.

    Obviously anytime you purchase a bird you should quarantine it, and look it over before you purchase it.​
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  4. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Willits
    I have to agree. I think the best advice you said was " know what you want to buy" so many people don't really do their research to find out, "what they are looking" for and sometimes more importantly "what they are willing to settle for". It usually isn't realistic to try and purchase show quality birds unless you have some money to spend.

    I would disagree with the buy eggs and chicks with caution unless the person is looking for show quality birds. I say that buying eggs or chicks from show parents does not guarantee show birds, but it usually is a less expensive way to get into the choosen breed.

    Definately insist on healthy birds, never take a sick bird thinking you will save it or give it better care than it is getting. You will only infect any other birds you bring home, possibly for a very long time after.

    I don't let people go into my chicken pens. I think that is unwise, but I do have all my pens available to view into from the outside. I also have several of my birds that are ambassadors for people to pet, they roam around freely and love to be picked up and hugged. I have a farm that is frequented by lots of people from time to time and it is lovely to see chickens hanging out on our lawn, along our drive, or kicking around in the flower beds looking for tasty tidbits.

    Lanae
     
  5. Oghdoff

    Oghdoff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2011
    SE Texas
    [​IMG] I totally agree! [​IMG]
     
  6. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Quote:I don't agree with this at all. I do NOT let anybody go near or into my pens/brooder area/etc. I will not risk my birds health or risk having somebody bring in diseases into my flock. If they don't like that I won't let them near my birds/coops, fine with me. Then don't purchase anything. If your smart, I don't think you should allow any people you don't know/other chicken owners to go near your birds or into your coops.

    Also, in some states, if you are a NPIP certified breeder, you are not allowed to have any non-npip chicken owners near your flock or it voids your npip clean status.

    Obviously anytime you purchase a bird you should quarantine it, and look it over before you purchase it.

    Love your birds.[​IMG]
     
  7. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Anyone have more tips to add? I know that I've made many mistakes in buying birds, renting apartments, choosing friends, etc., and I thought it would be helpful to learn from others.

    Note that I didn't write "don't buy from people who won't let you on their farm" or "don't buy eggs or chicks". Do what you want. I only considered that so many people bring their birds to shows to be near hundreds of birds from other farms, that the risk is fairly low. On the other hand, sanitizer and grocery bags on the feet are not unreasonable requests. Also, even if you aren't looking for show stock, how do you know that your blue Ameracauna egg doesn't contain a Polish cross? I was just cautioning that you may not get what you want if you go that route.

    Anyone have stories about chicken buying mistakes that we can learn from? I have one to illustrate point #4. A chicken's character is very important to me, as I don't want separate pens for birds that don't get along. I now ask how friendly the bird is, because I bought a Silkie rooster once, who got along with the birds, but would chase me down every day to kick the crap out of me. It didn't occur to me to ask, and that oversight was costly.
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon
    Good post, Catwalk.

    I don't allow people onto my farm. Apart from disease, too many people refuse to control their children.

    This is what I would add: know the breed you are interested in and know enough about poultry that you can tell whether the seller knows what they are talking about or not. If they don't know about their breeds or about proper care, that should be a warning.

    Ask where their birds came from. There are many people in my area that buy a big box of chicks from the hatcheries and resell them. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is a benefit to people who only want 2 chicks. But if you are buying, you want to know that because you will get hatchery quality birds if you buy from them. (which is OK, as long as you know that is what you are getting and that is what you want)

    There are also many people in my area that bought their first birds from hatcheries and sell chicks that they hatch themselves from those eggs. Again, you are buying hatchery quality birds, even though you are buying "purebreds" directly from the "breeder".

    Serious breeders love to talk about what makes a good bird and they will talk about the poultry shows if you get them started.

    Oh, and don't be surprised if top quality birds that are going to grow up to look like the pictures on the internet cost quite a bit more.
     
  9. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Here's an example of why you may not be happy with the chicks that you buy. These two pullets have the same father, and I couldn't tell them apart as chicks. One of them just won SCNA champion for the second time, and the othr was given away as a pet at the same show. Crazy difference!
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Wow, Catwalk. She's gorgeous.
     

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