Buying Poultry - What to Pay?
Prices for poultry vary enormously, depending on what you buy and where you buy it.
At market auctions birds can sell for anything from £1 to over £100. Good quality commercial Point Of Lay (POL) pullets (4 to 6 months old) are usually priced at between £7 and £35 each.
The minimum you should expect to pay for a good pure-breed is £25. They are more expensive because they can eat more food and are more time-consuming to rear. There is a rarity value attached to pure breeds as well.
Entry level bantams should be around £10 to £20. The Pekin Bantam is a favourite among many urban keepers.
Ducks normally starts at about £20 each, while pure-bred geese will often cost over £100 each (they can live for 20 years). Turkeys will cost £60+ for good quality, well-bred examples.
The old favourites, like the Rhode Island Red, Light Sussex and Maran are consistently in demand, while rarer options, such as the Scots Grey or Spanish, come and go in the popularity stakes.
Birds bought from auctions can be extremely stressed. Stress is a major contributor to poultry disease. Birds made anxious by frequent transportation, poor conditions and rough handling can quickly deteriorate, and are certainly much more likely to catch any diseases. Cross-infection between adjacent pens is common, and the risk of disease being spread by the handlers who load the auction pens is high.
If possible buy all your birds at the same time. Every time you introduce new birds to an existing flock, stress levels are raised. Try to ensure a period of acclimatisation (up to 2 weeks) during which the old and the new birds can see each other, but can't actually mix. Then, when you finally put them together, do this at night when everything is calm and quiet.