If you are considering buying chickens to keep at home but aren’t sure where to find them, here are a five options you might wish to consider to get you started:
This is the type of breeder who has won awards at regional and championship shows affiliated to the Poultry Club of Great Britain. This will be somewhat of a pedigree hen supplier, someone that has spent time and energy in improving their birds. More often than not these will be top quality and healthy birds. You are likely to find contact information in poultry and small holding magazines.
Find a list of quality poultry breeders here.
Local and Regional Poultry Shows
At most shows there will be pens with hens or chicks available to buy. These are also great places to ask advice from a breeder or experienced keepers. Most of these shows take place in the summer and many towns or counties will have an agricultural show of some description. These are great places to buy high quality poultry and poultry keeping accessories.
You can find a useful poultry show calendar at Poultry Keeper.
This is an economical option as the chickens will usually be less expensive than those from a dedicated breeder. Often, hen keepers have hatched a few chicks themselves and looking to sell them on. One thing to bear in mind is that the quality of the birds could be variable; it would be worth taking a good look over the birds and where they are living. (See our article What to Check for When Buying Chickens.) You will often see ads in local papers or you can look on a poultry keeping website/forum and even on some Facebook pages.
Buying Hens From An Auction
If you do a bit of research online you will soon find a number of dedicated poultry auctions. These can be an ideal place to pick up very reasonably priced chickens. However, high-quality breeders often use these to move on their sub-par stock.
Finally, remember to take a box or suitable transport for your newly purchased chickens. Make sure you take a through look at the chickens and if there are any obvious signs of illness avoid, especially if you already have some existing birds.
Hatching Your Own Chickens
It can be very rewarding to hatch your own chickens, nowadays you can pick up incubators at a reasonable price. This makes hatching your own eggs very easy. Although, it’s important to remember raising chicks and pullets is very labour intensive and there is no guarantee you will end up with hens – you can easily end up with a fair few cockerels!
If you’re looking for a chicken coop to house your new birds visit http://www.benedictsfarm.com for affordable and quality chicken coops, made in England and built to last.
About the Author
Sam Pullin is a poultry enthusiast and owner of small holder website Benedict’s Farm. Providing quality chicken coops and all the information you need to start keeping chickens.