Buying Day Old Chicks
The most important thing to know when buying pure breed day old chicks is that they will be unsexed. There are very few pure breeds that produce a 'sex-linked' chick (different colours for boys and girls)
All hybrids are 'sex linked' so you know your day old chicks is a girl.
Chicks do not need hi-tech equipment, just a cardbox box with a few shavings in the bottom, icecube tray as a drinker (so that any chick accidently pooing in the water wont cause all the water to go dirty) an small dish for feed.
Most importantly chicks need heat. A 100w bulb is ample for a few chicks, just position the buld above the box so the chicks cheap quietly. Chicks that are cold 'cry'!
Chicks should be fed on chick crumbs for 6 weeks before moving on to growers meal.
Buying point of lay hens
Hens must always be bought from experienced poultry keepers at their place of residence.Then you can see how the hens are kept and spend time with the seller to ask questions about his or her poultry.
Hens must 'NEVER' be bought from auction houses. Poultry bought from such market places have ho history, you will be unaware of any health problems, laying issues or bloodlines and in some cases what sex they are.
Always check your hen has bright eyes and seems fully alert.
A hen should always have full/good size crop throughout the day.
Never buy a hen with a dirty bottom - it can mean nothing, but at the same time it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Always ask when the hens were last wormed, and also find out about if the hens have been vacinated.
Baby ducks can be reared the same way as chicks.
Checking ducks is very similar to looking at hens, - never buy a duck with a dirty bottom, make sure she looks happy and has a sparkle in her eye.
Find out feeding routines and check when she was last wormed