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The price of hens

PUBLISHED: 16:29 12 September 2012

How much should I expect to pay for a hybrid and how much for a pure breed hen?

Charlotte Popescu says:

Expect to pay around £15 for a hybrid at Point of Lay (POL) which means the hen should be at least 16 weeks old and likely to start laying in the near future. Pure breed hens and bantams will cost more but prices can vary substantially between breeders. Often pure breeds are sold in trios which consist of two hens and one cockerel (in this way breeders can find homes for their surplus cockerels). However you may not want to keep a cockerel. Large fowl pure breed hens should cost around £25 but some breeders are charging £35, and more if they are a rare or a highly desired colour. These will also be sold at Point of Lay. You can pay less if they are younger – some breeders sell them at around 10 weeks old, at which time they will be sexed. Bantam breeds at point of lay should cost from £15 but some breeders are charging up to £25 per bird.

Some unscrupulous individuals are charging exorbitant amounts for chicks just off heat. These chicks will be six weeks old and may well be unsexed. I recently saw an assortment of chicks being sold at £14 each at a country fair. Do not be tempted as you may well end up with cockerels and you will have to wait at least four months before they start laying. They may also not have been vaccinated (vaccination programmes are not complete until the birds are 12 weeks old).

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