I visited a champion breeder last week to purchase chicks. This person has won countless awards and has great respect and reputation throughout the breeders club and nation. I was appalled and disgusted at the living conditions of the fowl this person housed. While walking to one of the houses, they were large rats scurrying near my feet running for cover! Not just two or three, but countless! I was hesitant to continue, thinking maybe this will get better. Ha! The house was putrid! The champion hens and roo's were caged in feces thick, filthy cages. Ammonia so strong it burned my nose and eyes. Flies and maggots...GAG! The chickens went beserk when we walked through. Feathers, dust and dirt flew everywhere. I had to cover my eyes and nose to avoid breathing in the debris. The person pulled out eggs from a few cages that were covered in liquid feces and offered to sell them to me, which I refused. I reminded the person I was interested in chicks, NOT! The person shrugged and said the eggs would be shipped out later that day...what? God knows if the buyers could see this, they surely would not buy...or would they? Do I have high standards? I think if my coops go three weeks without cleaning it's neglect. Boy, this must be over two or three years! Luckily, the chicks I wanted weren't available. I was offered a tour of the other houses, which I politely declined. I ripped off my sweatshirt before getting into the car, and wiped my hands, neck, face with bacteria wipes. My hair was brushed and pants were dusted off. Thankfully, for whatever reason this person had...hahahahhaaha BIOSECURITY concerns or whatever, I was told to change into boots so I had no concerns about my shoes. I felt sooooooo dirty after leaving there and couldn't wait to shower. It makes one wonder where our hatching eggs and chicks really come from. I usually have them shipped. It makes me think twice about buying. I think I'll just stick with my own little flock and breed within.