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Quarantine coop in workshop question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm picking up three 25 week old pullets today from a nearby farm. I've got a quarantine coop set up in my workshop. The coop is 3' wide x 6.5' long x 3' tall. It's just a wood frame wrapped in hardware cloth, with a chicken wire top that opens up. It sits on the floor in my 25x25 non climate controlled workshop. The roost bar is about one foot off the ground. Does it need to be enclosed so the birds use it? I wonder about them wanting a sense of "security" when they hop up to roost. They'll be laying any time now so I do have a nest box in there, made of a plastic milk crate with cardboard around it to help with privacy. 

 

Also, the workshop only has windows on the west side of the building. Should I set up supplemental light for them? 

post #2 of 9


I don't think that the roost bar needs to be enclosed - they will use it for sure. Not sure about the light issue - maybe someone with some experience on that subject can help you out.

 

Good luck

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I left the light on last night while I got my little one ready for bed, and went to check on them around 9:30. I peeked through the window and they were all perched up on the roost, heads low, eyes closed. I went in to socialize with them for a bit, and then left them in the dark. Went out this morning at 7:30 and it was still almost black in there so I turned the light on for them. I hope the fluorescent light isn't bad for them. 

post #4 of 9

The old style fluorescent light ballasts have a flicker rate that can bother birds eyes......not really sure what the effect is.

Might want to set up an incandescent light on a timer that matches sunrise and sunset.

 

That space is pretty tight, so they get to have a day pen at all?

 

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks. The majority of the lights in there are in fact the tube-type ballast powered florescent lights but there are a few incandescent lights as well. I have a timer on the pool filter, but it's close enough to winter I can just shut it down til weekend when I winterize it. I'll put that in the shop on a halogen work light to come on at 6:30 - 7:30 am, then again from 7 - 9 pm. I'd like to keep their light supplemented a bit to get them laying before winter. I'll keep the light pointed at the ceiling so it doesn't blind them or hurt their eyes. 

 

Unfortunately there isn't anywhere else to put them in the day, as the existing flock generally free ranges and I am trying my best to keep them completely separate from the rest of the flock for as long as possible per the advice in the Emergency/Disease/Injuries/Cure. It's small and I feel bad but it is the biggest I could fit in the extra space in the shop and still be able to navigate in there with all the other equipment and tools. I even have the mower living outside to clear up space. I do have one small cockerel I could toss in there for a couple days as a "canary" (since I will end up culling or selling him anyway) to see if I could cut quarantine short, but then it'll be really crowded. Do you have any other recommendations? 


Edited by ksguy - 10/2/15 at 8:02am
post #6 of 9

Canary cockerel could be a good idea if you had enough space but even if you did,

it would be mega stress for the newbies to throw a young cockerel in there, he'd be all over them and/or the new girls might kick his butt.

You could always put the cockerel in a wire dog crate right next to the quarantine cage, might have to move some more tools....

.....so you would get some canary exposure but limit stress and eliminate most injuries.

 

Are you going to use supplemental lighting in the coop this winter?

I would try to mimic what you will use in the coop for lighting in the quarantine area now...and maybe leave it on all day until just before dusk.

I prefer lighting come on early morning and then let them go to roost with the natural sunset.

 

First year pullets often don't need supplemental light to lay all winter....

......and in this case your going to be dealing with integration stress which could effect their laying anyway.

 

Just some thoughts.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I actually do have a dog crate in the shop - it's what I brought them home in, and I hadn't put it back up in the rafters yet. It's an extra large crate so conceivably big enough for a single bird to live in, though perhaps unhappily, for short term. Unfortunately it's a plastic crate, but it does have a wire door, so I could put it with the door butting up against their coop for some face to face time - if you think a plastic crate with slots in the side is acceptable. For the sake of expediting their time in the cramped quarters, I'll move some of the more "portable" tools to the basement and the tiller to the back patio. 

 

I had planned on supplemental light in the coop to stimulate egg production, but if you're saying first year pullets don't need it in order to start laying, I can leave that out of the plan. Right now the birds in the existing flock are 17 weeks old (three EE pullets and one BO pullet), so I was expecting eggs from them in mid to late November at the earliest.

 

Thanks for the suggestion on killing the shop lights before dusk and letting them go to bed by natural sunset progression. 

 

If all this is an OK plan, what length of quarantine would you deem prudent? I have no problems going the full 4 weeks (other than feeling bad for them) but I don't know if or how the canary cockerel would alter that timing. 

post #8 of 9

Wire door against pen should work for exposure.

I have never actually quarantined birds as I haven't brought anything but a few day old chicks home since I started.

But if I did, I would go the full month and be very, very careful about any cross contamination with clothing, shoes and equipment.

Read some of the links that I provided a few posts back on quarantining.
 

How do you plan on integrating the new birds with your existing flock?
 

There's no guarantee that first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental light...or that any bird will lay all winter with supplemental light.

I've only been doing this chicken thing for a couple years and have always used the lights.

I've found it to work pretty good, but some of my older layers molted in spring/summer instead of fall/winter

 

Here's my notes on Winter Laying:

Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.

Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown.  Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Excellent, thank you. Full month it will probably be. I've tried to be diligent in bird servicing order - established flock gets let out first, water checked, etc., then I've gone to the shop to check food, water, and well being of the newbies. When I get home after work I change clothes before I do anything else, usually throw some treats to the current birds, etc, then check on the new ones later on. I'm usually showered by the time I head out to the coop to lock things up for the night, so fresh clothes and clean skin/hair is not an issue. 

 

There's two dirt piles behind the coop that my current birds like to scratch and dust bathe in - I took a shovel full of that and sprinkled it in the quarantine to help get them exposed to the soil in their future environment. 

 

For integration I plan to put the new pullets into the dog crate while I move their pen into the outdoor run (260 square feet) by the existing coop, then put them back into their pen. The dog crate will then go into the inside of the coop (48 sq foot coop). It really sounds like a hassle but I'll move them to the dog crate in the main coop in the evening, then out to the pen in the morning, then back in the evening - give everyone a few days to get to know one another without direct accessibility. During this time I'll keep the run door closed so all the existing flock is "stuck" in the run with the new birds (this isn't uncommon, as I tend to keep them in the run on days where we anticipate rain). Finally I'll move them onto the roost bars with the rest of the birds after everybody is in bed - I've read this is a method that many have had success with. 

 

I'd read the BYC article and perused my own search results, but hadn't seen the Biosecurity link. Just took a look, that's good info. Thanks for sharing. 

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