Buying poultry

Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.

The DoneDeal guide to buying poultry


  • Whether buying a couple of chucks to lay your breakfast each morning, or commercially buying poultry for agri-business, there are some pitfalls you can avoid.


  • Before you buy poultry, consider why you want them.
  • Do you want chickens for egg production or for their meat?
  • Leghorns and Rhode Island reds are popular layers; Ross are good for meat.


  • Visit the supplier and look to see where the birds are housed.
  • If it is a clean environment there’s less chance of disease.


  • If buying chicks, look and see if they are active?
  • Look for bright, clear eyes.
  • Remember one sick chick can infect your whole flock.


  • Chicks that aren’t fully feathered will need somewhere warm to live.
  • A heat lamp may be required to house them until they feather fully.


  • Remember to quarantine all new birds being introduced to your existing flock for at least two weeks.