- Firstly the surroundings should be clean and tidy and the birds should have plenty of space, clean water and feed.
- If you are going to mix the breeds they should ideally be living together as the added stress of introducing birds to each other is not perfect.
- Depending on their age the birds comb and wattles (flappy bits on their heads!) should be a healthy dark red, however, young birds will not yet have developed and may have a small, pale comb which is normal.
- Bright eyes with no signs of swelling surrounding them.
- Clean nostrils with no discharge. Whilst respiratory infections are common in chickens, don’t choose a bird showing any respiratory symptoms.
- An alert, bright looking chicken. Don’t pick a hen who is hunched up or with her head tucked up under her wing.
- No lice or mites. Check through the skin around the fluffy feathers near the birds vent looking for any signs of lice or mites.
- Clean vent area. Make sure the hen doesn’t have loose droppings around her rear.
If you buy hens from us we will automatically check through all the above with you.