Lil and I were having a bit of a giggle on the weekend, we were reminiscing about the dodgy poultry breeders and sellers we have come across. I guess enough time has passed to find it partly amusing because at the time it was not easy and disappointing to say the least, we certainly learnt quickly how to spot the red flags.

There was the time we paid for Cochin chicken eggs from a seller in Brisbane. They were sent through the post, the package arrived, eggs surrounded by saw dust that was leaking out of the bag they were posted in, yes a bag, not a protective box. And the large chicken eggs barely had the stamps rubbed off them from the supermarket. Note to self, never by off someone who does direct deposit only, by using Paypal for the transaction at least you have the security of Paypal to dispute the purchase. In hindsight I should have spoken to her and not had all communication by email like she requested, my messages were blocked after I sent photos and asked for a refund.

There was the two and a half hour trip in the car after answering an advertising posted by the husband, we spoke twice on the phone and he reassured me of all the hens for sale and what colours. I was promised first pick of some rare breed hens, there was 100 he was selling. We arrived, wife furious, husband excited to sell us everything, but nothing was actually for sale. The husband was sick of looking after the large breeding flock that was his wifes passion. He wanted the shed the poultry slept in overnight to restore his  old cars. The wife seeing Lil’s disappointment ( she was about 13 at the time) offered us a couple of older hens that were going to the pot, a couple of young hens  that didn’t have the correct markings for the breed, we quickly paid the money and carefully stepped back over the broken beer bottles we had navigated through on the way in. If ever I answer an advertisement now and the husband says that they are the wifes, well I ask to speak to the wife! 

Another time we arrived at the sellers home to find the hens not the same as in the photos. The seller had used stock photo’s or downloaded photos from the internet. When looking at the advertised birds, check what is in the background, if it is a plain white background it is usually a stock photo, if it is snowing in the background and summer where you are, well there is your red flag. Google the chicken breed and scroll down the photos to see if one matches the advertised photos.

Red flags pop up in the descriptions:

A pure breed hen is not pure breed if  the parents are different breeds. eg. one parent is purebred Orpington and other pure breed Silkie. The hen and rooster need to be the same pure breed.

The seller creates a breed name based on where they are located.

The chicks have feathered feet and the pure breed they are being advertised as does not have feathered feet.

Old hens are often passed off as young hens, the seller wants to move them on because they aren’t producing as many eggs compared to when they were younger or their fertility may not be as high anymore – high egg production and fertility equates to selling more, some sellers are purely in it for the money. Tell tale sign of age are checking the legs and feet, the scales will be wider on older hens. For roosters check how long the spurs are, long spurs = older bird.  Wrinkles and lines around the eyes are tell tale signs also.

Ducky, Honeybee’s grandma.

The best happy ending was meeting Ducky, Honeybee’s grandma! Advertised as a Pekin she was definelty much smaller than a Pekin. I realised straight away, probably at the same time Lil fell in love with her. When I questioned the seller about why he advertised her as a Pekin his excuse was she looked the most like a Pekin duck when comparing photos on the internet. With your initial enquiry ask the seller lots of questions to see if they know what they are talking about. eg. do you have the parents, reason for sale, why are you finding a new home for the bird, where did you buy the bird from originally if they didn’t breed it. This bloke had never met a Pekin duck in his life and Ducky had been dumped in his dam, none of that was on the ad!

Rosanne, Duckie’s daughter and Honeybee’s mum.

There are amazing poultry breeders out there who take wonderful care and are passionate about keeping heritage breeds alive, it’s a shame that sometimes there are people out there who will try to make a quick buck – it’s a bit like everything really isn’t it.

I hope you find this Journal entry helpful.

Jude x




Tips for buying poultry.

December 12, 2022



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