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Where can I buy a chicken in Australia

So the excitement is building. You are almost there. You have made or purchased a backyard chicken coop, chicken feeder, chicken drinker and roosting bedding; now you need the chickens. So you are probably wondering where can I buy chickens in Australia. 

There are two important things to keep when buying a chicken. The type of chicken as well as the health of the chicken. Some chickens lay more eggs, some are for meat, some are great pets but lay no eggs. If you are buying a chicken for backyard eggs, then you should read this first. What are the Best Egg Laying Chickens

There are a lot of different places with backyard chickens for sale. How do you choose one? Here are our top 4 places to get chickens in Australia. 

Feed stores and agricultural co-ops

Feed stores, as well as agricultural cooperatives, are some of the safest places to buy chickens. Instead of buying from a backyard breeder, most are local businesses. Their reputation is especially important to uphold. For this reason, they tend to source their birds from reliable breeders. So your birds will be healthy and are often vaccinated against some of the more common chicken diseases.

Most feed stores will take orders for point-of-lay hens and pullets as well as full-grown laying hens. Many stores also offer day-old chicks by mail order. There is nothing cuter than a box of chicks. As a parent the idea of little fluffy chicks for your children is exciting. But it is important to realise raising them requires different facilities. Another key point is raising chicks takes a lot more knowledge and also effort than keeping older chickens. Chicks aren’t always sexed, which also means you may end up with a box of roosters!

Where can I buy a chicken

Breeders

Poultry breeders are a great place to get chickens. Thanks to the internet, breeders can be found online selling chickens. They also sell directly to the public at bird shows and similar. However, there are as many amateurs as professionals. To ensure you are getting quality birds, always buy from a reputable breeder.  Perhaps you have a friend who has purchased from the breeder.

Additionally, you could ask around at a local poultry club or online. Most reputable online breeders of backyard chickens will proudly display testimonials or reviews. If someone has a chicken for sale but will not let you see their flock to ensure that they are healthy and happy, walk away. Passionate breeders produce healthy birds and are usually eager to share what they are doing with new chicken keepers. Breeders are also great resources if you want to get into keeping heritage and rare breed chickens.

Gumtree or the local classifieds

Everything from fertilised eggs, day-old chicks and chicks, to pullets and point-of-lay hens, are available online and through the local classifieds. Gumtree is a particularly good place to get mature hens, as people will often buy chickens and then have to sell them due to a change of circumstances. These chickens may be slightly older, but you can often get an excellent deal on a chicken coop or tractor from someone eager to off-load them. It is best to collect your chickens from wherever they were raised. This way you can ensure that they are healthy. You can also see where they were raised and in what conditions.  Choose your chickens carefully, as not all online vendors give you exactly what you ask for.

Hen Rescue Organisation

If you are getting chickens primarily for pets, rather than eggs, you may wish to support a hen rescue program. These organisations re-home ex-battery hens. Battery hens are egg layers that are kept in tiny cages and usually have not been outdoors. They are killed at 2 or 3 years old, after their peak egg-laying years are over. That said, hens can continue laying for up to 5 years after this point and may live even longer. If you are adopting battery hens, you will be giving an animal that has been abused a natural and happy end to their life. However, be aware that ex-battery hens may not be as robust as other chickens, will not lay as reliably, and may have some health issues due to their long confinement.

I want to know more about buying chickens

Do you have more questions about buying chickens? Visit our Chook School to find out what is the best age to get a chicken, how to raise chicks and what you need to keep your chickens happy and healthy.