Features And Qualities Of A Good And Healthy Day Old Chick (DOC), Broiler, Layer And Cock






WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS, FEATURES, QUALITIES TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN SELECTING, CHOOSING OR BUYING DAY OLD CHICKS (DOCs)?

It is important to look for different features in chicks, growers, hens, and cocks. Select or buy new animals early in the day, as stress from lack of water, feed, and rest, will make most animals look rather sick and drowsy. Stress caused by lack of water and feed can also lower the bird’s resistance to diseases and it may even die.

A healthy, newly hatched chick should have the following features:
Well developed body length and depth;
Shiny, dry, thick, and coloured down feathers;
Soft belly;
Clean, dry navel;
Thick shanks with spaced and straight toes;
Big, clear eyes;
Lively behaviour.

A healthy good broiler should have the following features:
Appear healthy and lively;
Feathering shiny and normal (may depend on the breed);
Large size for the age;
Eyes clear and shiny;
Clean and dry beak and nostrils;
Clean feathers around the vent;
Straight legs and toes.

A healthy and good egg-layer should have the following features:
Should appear healthy and lively;
Feathering normal for the breed;
A red comb (more colored when in lay);
Eyes clear and shiny;
Clean and dry beak and nostrils;
Clean feathers around the vent;
Straight legs and toes, with no signs of scaly legs;
Legs less colored in lay;
The breast bone should not be sharp;
A big broad bottom



(In small flocks, it is relatively easy to check whether the hens are laying or not. Check with your hand. The distance between the pubic bones  will be equivalent to two fingers when the hen is in lay. Only one finger may pass between the pubic bones when the hen is outside lay. The distance between the pubic bones (top) and the breast bone will be equivalent to three to four fingers when the hen is in lay. Only two fingers may pass when the hen is outside lay. The criteria must be interpreted carefully when selecting indigenous chickens)

A healthy and good cock should have the following features:
Alert and protective nature;
Shiny and normal feathering for the breed;
Clear and shiny eyes;
Clean and dry beak and nostrils;
Clean feathers around the vent;
Straight legs and toes with no signs of scaly legs;
Large size relative to the hens.

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