What do you look for when you buy pullets from a private person?

Discussion in 'Buy Sell Auction - Archives' started by chicka_chicka_boom_boom, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. chicka_chicka_boom_boom

    chicka_chicka_boom_boom In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2008
    Eaton County, MI
    Not from a hatchery, but from a private person. I would like to get some pullets this fall to start my flock and get things going. I'm wondering what things to look for, what questions to ask, etc. These will be my first chickens ever.

    Do you think this is a good idea, or should I start with baby chicks that aren't as expensive per bird to start with? I'm considering getting both... local pullets and hatchery chicks.

    Any thoughts?
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    Personally I would buy from a local person, because shipping is a lot of stress on chicks. Find out what kinds of chickens they have and look up the standard so you know what to look for in the parents if they are quality chicks or not. One downfall is you'd be getting straight run and not sexed chicks from a local person, where most hatcheries will sex their chicks. So be prepared to get rid of extra roosters.
  3. KingsCalls

    KingsCalls Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    New Market,Tn.
    My first thing I'd look for is.....the persons other chickens! Are they healthy, energetic ? Are the coops/runs clean or nasty? Are the birds mixed breeds or pure breeds? Personally, I'd want pure-bred just because I could sell eggs, chicks or young birds easier. Mixed breeds are usually hardy and some like sex-links produce eggs better than most others.
    I'd buy from a private person if the birds were healthy and they had what I was looking for. Hatcheries can send you all pullets if that's what you want but, you have to wait 5-7 months to get your first eggs. Also you would probably get better quality birds from a private indavidual.
  4. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Make sure they are in fact pullets! [​IMG] You wouldn't think someone would lie about this but some people do take advantantage of newbies. I bought "pullets" to get started also. When they didn't start laying a freind (who used to be our local 4h leader) dropped by and gently informed me they were roos [​IMG]

    Nice dispositions for roosters though- I held them and petted them and kept putting them in a nest with a golf ball and everything [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Oh oops (sorry) in the post above I bought "started point of lay pullets" for 25 bucks each not chicks. I misunderstood and thought you were talking about picking up local layers.
  6. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Yeah, make sure you know the difference between a hen and a roo of the breed you're going to buy.

    I second the idea of scoping out the health conditions the birds are living in.
    - Are the coop and run clean?
    - What kinds of food do the hens live on (have they been given the best nutrition possible when growing up)?
    - Do wild birds or other animals have access to or live with the chickens (and possibly contaminate their living space or food)?
    - Do the birds look healthy and active? (bright eyes, healthy combs and wattles, no bugs near the vent or on the skin -- do pick them up and check!)
    - Are the birds protected from the elements (so they haven't been going through cycles of heat exhaustion, etc., which can tax their poor little bodies)...?

    One trick I have heard is to whistle when approaching a coop or run. The ladies will stop squawking and clucking and look around for the source of the sound. At that point, you can listen for wheezing, sneezing, coughs, etc.
  7. averytds

    averytds Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Be afraid! Be very afraid!!!


    Definately know your birds. It may be hard to believe, but there are people who will scam you on chickens.

    My 1 and only buy from a private breeder has been a complete failure. I wanted 2 Ameraucana pullets for some neat eggs for the kids and at least 1 pullet DS could enter in the 4-H fair. I bought 4 and got none of the above.

    My 3 Ameraucana pullets are EE/Buff Brahma xs of which I'm pretty sure 2 are roos. My Buff Brahma pullet may or may not be full BB and is possibly a roo. Also it is not even close to standards, so I got her reject. So no colorful eggs for kids and nada for the fair. Oh yeah, I also overpaid. [​IMG]

    If it's possible you may want to show at some point, know the standards for your chosen breed and buy accordingly now. At least be fairly familiar with them if you're just wanting as pets. Save yourself the disappointment.

    Also research telling gender differences at varying ages for that breed. While it won't be 100% accurate, it will improve your odds if you know what to look for.

    And as mentioned above, overall health and conditions. And know about fair prices for your area/breed.

    It didn't take reading more than 1 or 2 posts for me to figure something didn't add up with what I bought. Wish I'd found this forum beforehand. It wouldn't have taken more than a brief glance to know her birds were not what I was looking for.

  8. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I wonder if you could make a deal for the seller to simply take back anything that wasn't agreed upon, or is that naive?
  9. bishopschickens

    bishopschickens Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Cumberland, VA
    taking back chickens is difficult. When I first started I was very fair and gave what the customer asked for. After a few months i found myself with lots and lots and lots of roosters that I had no use for. I always guaranteed the sex and just allowed people to return if it was not as advertised. Sadly this became to much of a pain as I began to have roosters that were not from my flock returned. The number one way I could tell was I breed purebreads and these were just chicken mutts. Also chickens that were alot older then they said they were. After this everything is straight run! Plus birds coming back were causing problems health wise so I nipped that in the butt along time ago. I will tell you all what I tell everyone locally if it is a rooster and you dont want it kill it and eat it. If you dont eat chickens find some locals that are on some hard times and give them the roosters to eat. Not trying to be funny here just giving my opinion and some help for those "stuck" with roosters.

  10. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    [​IMG] I am only going to get chickens from someone I know...

    btw ... a tiny bit off topic: I keep reading about "pullets". What is a pullet and how is it different from a regular chicken?



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