1. Firstly the surroundings should be clean and tidy and the birds should have plenty of space, clean water and feed.  
  2. 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.   
  3. 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.
  4. Bright eyes with no signs of swelling surrounding them.  
  5. Clean nostrils with no discharge.  Whilst respiratory infections are common in chickens, don’t choose a bird showing any respiratory symptoms.
  6. An alert, bright looking chicken.  Don’t pick a hen who is hunched up or with her head tucked up under her wing. 
  7. No lice or mites.  Check through the skin around the fluffy feathers near the  birds vent looking for any signs of lice or mites.
  8. 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.