How To Buy Live Chicken
This is a very informative film about how to buy live chickens. Also, how to recognize the healthy and unhealthy birds, so if you're thinking about buying a chicken for its eggs or for a pet, watching this video will certainly help you choose a healthy happy bird.
How to buy a live chicken. First of all, internet is a brilliant source. Find a local poultry farm; somebody who knows what they're doing and will give you a good service.
When you first arrive, have a really good look around to make sure you're happy with everything. If the chickens aren't well kept and inadequate runs and things, the alarm bells should be ringing. Make sure that you like the people and they're very helpful and answer your questions and let you look around.
You should be able to have free range walking around the farm and ask as many questions as you want. If you're not happy with the way the chickens are kept, walk away. You don't have to buy from the first place that you go to.
It's very important to ask the question - is there an after care service? Are they on the end of the phone if there are any problems? It's very helpful. As for the chickens, you need nice, bright, alert chickens; don't think because it's crouched there and letting you stroke it, that it's a healthy chicken. It's normally an indication that it's not quite right.
A healthy chicken will run away from you, they don't know you. So, don't think they're unfriendly; it's normal behaviour for a chicken. They should be nice and bright eyed, their feathers should be in lovely condition and soft and silky.
Their combs should be nice and bright if they're point of lay. If they're sixteen weeks, they'll be much smaller and pinker, that's perfectly normal. Beaks should be of a natural shape, don't go for de-beaked birds, it's not a necessary practice if you're rearing them in adequate space.
Nice bright eyes - they should be sparkly. Nice clean legs - nice and smooth, they shouldn't have any scales coming up. Nice clean bottom - they shouldn't have mud or poo stuck to them.
A good weight - they shouldn't be overly fat, but they certainly shouldn't be skinny. So, have a feel of your bird, make sure you handle them. The person you're buying them from should be perfectly happy for you to do this.
Another thing to look for in your girls is they should never have any discharge coming from their nostrils or puffiness or mucus coming out of their eyes. It's a sign of something called mycoplasma and it's quite contagious, and once you've got it within your flock, it's very difficult to get rid of. Another thing as well, if you are looking in the pen, observe the chickens for a while.
Any sneezing is normally an indication of a respiratory problem. And when you choose your girl and you're doing your checks and you're checking over the bird, just hold it to your ear and have a listen to its chest, it should be clear. You'll hear its heart racing, but apart from that, there should never be any signs of crackling or congestion on the lungs.
And that's how to buy a live chicken.