How to Pick a Healthy Chick

Chick Days are approaching and when you walk into any farm and ranch store, you'll soon be greeted with fuzzy, adorable peeping chicks. Who can resist?! But before you scoop up your chicks, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the healthiest of the flock. Here are ways to spot a healthy chick:
  • They’re alert and active – may be cheeping softly, looking for food, and will move away from you when approached. Chicks that aren’t well will appear lethargic and constantly sleepy, and may not try to move away when approached
  • If chicks are happy, healthy and warm, they won’t huddle together when awake
  • Bright-eyed – chicks with a blank stare, crusted eyes or always sleepy may not be healthy
  • Look for a beak that is not crossed over or broken – birds with beak issues will have problems eating and drinkingBaby Chicks
  • Healthy feathers – unless you’re buying an older chicken during molt, chickens and chicks shouldn’t be missing feathers
  • Straight legs, feet and toes – an unhealthy chick may have difficulty walking or have poor posture with its neck retracted into its body
  • If a bird is acting dull, withdrawn or hunched over, it could indicate a serious problem
You don’t always have to buy your birds from a store, sometimes you can purchase them directly from a breeder, or a friend, or someone looking to re-home their hen. These tips apply to both chicks and full-grown chickens and the key is to make sure you purchase your birds from a reputable source to avoid serious health problems with your flock. If you're going to buy from a breeder, here is a list of the best breeds for beginners. For a full line of everything you need to care for your flock, visit our site at, keyword search Poultry. Enjoy your new feathered friends!