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How to Buy Backyard Chickens: Look out for Healthy Birds

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Have you read our post on adding chickens to your coop? Maybe you still have yet to purchase chickens, and you are wondering what to look for. Here’s some things to keep in mind so that you buy backyard chickens who up to speed on their doctor’s checkup:

 

First, you have to decide whether or not you would like to raise the chickens from birth. Chicks are precious, and they will form a bond with you from birth unlike any other animal. It’s something to consider.

 

If you decide to go with regular adult birds, if you live in Lancaster County, you will not have to look far. There are numerous chicken farms all throughout the area. We could probably point you to some if you ask. Give us a call and let us know!

 

Once you decide where to go, when you get to the chicken farm, right away you should judge your surroundings: Is the farm clean? How many people work on the farm? What’s the history of the farm and how popular is the farm in the county? If the farm appears dirty and unkempt, you should probably immediately reconsider: An unkempt farm suggests carelessness, and you want to be sure that you will receive healthy chickens. You should be able to trust the farmer and what he or she tells you. How old are the birds? How long has he or she been in the chicken farming business? Have there been recent illnesses on the farm? These are all questions you should have prepared before you even scope out options.

 

Judging a healthy chicken from an unhealthy chicken is pretty simple. Look out for these warning signs:

 

  1. The chicken isolates itself from the flock.
  2. The chicken’s comb is discolored, and appears blue-purple. A healthy chicken’s comb is vibrant red or pink.
  3. The chicken’s feathers are dull in color.
  4. The chicken’s legs and feet are noticeably scaley. They should be smooth.
  5. The chicken’s eyes are murky-white. They should be vibrant and clear.
  6. The chicken’s beak is straight.


If you look out for these 6 warning signs of an unhealthy chicken, and you walk onto a clean farm with a well-to-do farmer you feel you can trust…well, go head. It appears you picked the right place to buy backyard chickens.

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