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FAQ's

Q: I need backyard chickens. Can I buy them from you?
Yes! Our farm and hatchery is specifically designed to produce excellent layer chickens.

Q: I only need 4 chickens?
There is no minimum order! Chickens are social so a pair is advisable and they DO like company.

Q: Can you freight?
Yes! Sydney Metro, South Coast to Bega, Albury, Gosford, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Taree, Most Country NSW, Somerton in Melbourne & Canberra – we can also freight to almost anywhere in Australia! Just Ask! We will endeavour to organize for you.

Q: How much is freight?
We would need to quote on each job. An example of freight costs, most of our orders run around $35 freight for up to 5 boxes of chickens.

Q: Are my chicks vaccinated?
Yes! Chickens are vaccinated for Mareks Disease and I.L.T. at day old. Other treatments include Newcastle Disease, Coryza and Worming.

Q: When do they start to lay?
Summer time: from 21 - 24 weeks for the Barter Black, Brown, White and Crossbreds, 25-30 weeks for Australorps and Rhode Island Purebreds.
Winter time: always add an extra month on all breeds (because of shorter daylight hours)

Q: Can I mix breeds?
Yes! It’s an age thing. Our birds will get on well together. In fact, we recommend if you are starting with your first flock get a mix of birds to see which you like best. All our birds are good layers so it really is a personal choice.

Q: Can I mix different ages of chickens together?
No! Sometimes older birds will peck younger ones. We don't advise mixing different ages. Customers do tell us it's not a problem, however we think sometimes it depends on how big the coop is, if you let your chickens out to roam free range and if 2 feeders are available. If you plan to get different ages just have a plan B in mind that if you do need to separate, you can grow them up in an area till they were around 17 weeks and then mix them to gether usually thye can stand up to older more mature hens. We would always recommend adding a minimum of 2 chickens always to any age flock.

Q: Are brown eggs healthier than white eggs?
No, the color of the egg has no effect on how healthy it is. The colour of the eggs are determined by the breed of the hen. A Barter Brown hen would lay a brown egg. The other breeds are much lighter in shell colour to the white hen who has the palest of eggs.

Q: Will the eggs my pet chickens lay taste better than store-bought?
Without a doubt. The chickens in your backyard will lay eggs unlike any you've tried before. Fresh home produced eggs are a deeper yellow in colour and have more flavour.

Q: Can chickens fly?
Sort of. Young hens from around 15 weeks sometimes ( definitely not all the time) when they are moved from the farm to your hen house can be alittle disorientated and might fly out at first. But once they settle in, in a few days or up to 2 weeks ( I would recommend you keep them locked in) and are familiar with the coop and all it has to offer them they usually don’t want to go anywhere.  A healthy wing trim on one side of the hen at 17 weeks wont hurt the hen( it will regrow in about 6 weeks) ask us we could do this for you if you would like this done. Most chickens have limited flight and not often a concern.

Q: Do chickens really "come home to roost"?
Yes! Chickens will come back to the same place to sleep every night -- so you can let your chickens roam your yard during the day and when it gets dark they will return to their coop to catch up on their beauty rest. (A "roost" is a pole they perch on, which they much prefer to sleeping on the ground.) If you were to encourage chooks with wheat or corn as a treat, and train them to hear the sound of a spoon hitting on a tin, you will have your girls running to the coop. This can be beneficial if you let them out and then change of plans you are heading out and want them back in before you leave and it gets dark. Leaving chickens roosting in the coop with doors left open can be an open invitation to foxes.

Q: How noisy are chickens?
Roosters crow and it can be noisy, and contrary to popular belief, they don't just crow in the morning. They can crow during the day too. Hens are much quieter -- you basically won't hear them when they've just laid an egg, theres a low noise, or if they're threatened you might here a different sqauk. But in all very quiet.

Q: How big are chickens?
"Standard" chickens weigh 4-7 pounds depending on the breed and the sex (roosters weigh more than hens).

Q: Is there really such a thing as a "pecking order"?
Yes. This is a very real phenomenon. All chicken flocks have a well-defined pecking order. It's their way of preventing mayhem. The lucky chicken at the top of the pecking order basically gets to enjoy everything first. She gets first access to
food, water, prime roosting spots and so on. If she doesn't like what anyone else is doing she has full pecking rights. She gets to tell any other chicken to bug off.  The other chickens in a flock just know she will eat first. Once they have sorted out the order usually in the first few moments of being together its all over. Pecking order is established at a very early age and usually remains unchallenged until death or 2 or more new hens are introduced.

Q: Can I have just one chicken?
You shouldn't. Chickens are social creatures and they will not do well alone. We advise a minimum of two.

Q: What if one of my pet chickens gets sick?
Call us first we might be able to diagnose any concerns and offer a solution. A vet who specializes in avian medicine is rare but available.

Q: Do cats attack chickens?
In the vast majority of cases, no, but you do hear of this once in a while. Most cats are more intimidated by grown chickens than chickens are of them. Baby chicks are more at risk because they're helpless and prob look more like a play toy. Dogs can be more of a concern, ( and mostly its someone elses that enters your property).

Q: Do you have to give chickens baths?
No! Chickens take dust baths that keep them clean and free of pests. They will scratch up a section back to dust and usually use the same spot to dust bathe all the time. This is there way of keeping lice at bay too. However, if you plan on showing your chickens in a Poultry Show, you'll want your bird looking her best, so you can wash them with a gentle cleanser and blow them dry.

Q: How long do chickens live?
Our Barter Girls will lay up to 3 years and die within 6 months of finishing her lay, she will look great but one day she will just fall off the perch. Pure breeds may lay 5 years plus and live for 7 or more years,  then s It's common to hear of a purebred chicken living eight to ten years. Once in a while you hear reports of 14 years or more! However, it is a rare bird indeed that can live that long.