IN my seven years of chook-keeping, I can truly say the best way to buy chooks is through a backyard breeder. They have passion, creditability and knowledge, and when purchasing a chook from them you’ll get peace of mind that you won’t end up with a dud!
What do I mean by a dud? Well, firstly, that you’re getting the correct breed and sex of chook that you’ve paid for, and that it’s disease-free and vaccinated and that it’s the age they tell you!
There are plenty of unscrupulous types out there who will happily take your hard-earned cash and give you a cockerel when you asked for a pullet, or off-load an old hen well past her used-by date when you wanted a point-of-lay pullet.
For those wanting to buy a quality pure breed chicken, there’s never been a better time to source a start-up flock and get great advice. This Saturday (July 5), a number of pure-breed poultry clubs are staging a show at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Poultry used to be a part of the Royal Melbourne Show in September but the MasterChef Australia program kicked them out of their Melbourne Showgrounds pavilion. Instead they stage this show in July, to only a small crowd of enthusiasts, which is a shame.
This is where backyard breeders, poultry club stalwarts and chicken enthusiasts exhibit their prized hens and roosters. The Wyandotte, Langshan and Australorp clubs of Victoria are among several clubs who will be represented. I recommend you come and have a look and make contact with these exhibitors – many of whom are small scale breeders.
They may even be able to sell you chooks on the day. At the very least, they will take your number and contact you when they do have young chooks in stock. These breeders are a wealth of knowledge and most are only too happy to share some of their wisdom.
These breeders often specialise in only one breed and have a proven record of producing a strain of healthy layers: as a result, you can be confident you are getting the genuine product and not some half breed when buying from them. However, it does pay to question them about their operation and how they tell the sex their chicks and vaccinate their flock.
For more information on Saturday’s show visit the Poultry Stud Breeders and Exhibitors Victoria website: psbev.com.au