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Quarantine and New Laying Hens

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I currently have a flock of 14 hens.  I have been wanting to enlarge my flock, and I do have chicks coming in april.. but those will take a while before I can add them to my flock.  So I went to a ladies house and purchase 3 very nice hens for my flock.  I was able to see and be around her entire flock, all of which look very healthy, clean, and nice.  The three hens I purchased are very nice, no visible health issues or anything to assume they would have any sickness.  But to be on the safe side.  I have them quarantined in a separate pin , last night after bringing them home, I dusted them thoroughly with diaotomaceous earth, I also have the food grade which I added to their food last night.  My question is , since I was able to see the flock... how long should I quarantine?  do I still have to quarantine for a month??  How can I tell if they have any sickness?  what should I be looking for health wise.  And they are laying , so how long should I wait before eating the eggs?? this is my first time bringing in full grown hens to my flock so ANY information would be helpful.

15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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post #2 of 7


Quarantine of at least 30 days should remain IMO. As long as you, or the previous keeper has used neither antibiotics or de-wormer in the past weeks, the eggs should fine for consumption.

 

Signs of illness include lack of appetite, lethargy, no interest in treats / activities that other birds show an interest in. Sneezing, wheezing, discharge from eyes, nasal cavities, irregular poop. These are just a few - there are many more - maybe type "signs of a potential illness" in the search box and see what that throws up. I guess, alternatively, you could search for "signs of a healthy chicken" and see how that matches up after the quarantine. 

 

All the best

 

CT

 

Oh, BTW - it may be a good idea to add vitamin supplements / electrolytes to their drinking water as this can help give the immune system a boost and help them over the stress of moving. 

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

 Thanks, I will look into the water additives, I have heard that ACV is good in the water??

15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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post #4 of 7


I understand that many members use ACV, but i have never used it, so i can't really comment on its benefits.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 7

CTKen is giving very good advice, one should quarantine, especially if losing your flock would be a financial hardship or an emotional one.

 

That being said, I think there is a world of difference in picking up birds from an auction or sale-barn or a fair where birds have been exposed to numerous strange birds, and possible strange diseases, and going to someones place, seeing that it is well kept with a flock of healthy birds. 

 

To me, healthy looks healthy, if they are least bit sick, do not expose them to your birds, but if they are acting fine, and you are comfortable with the risk, I would and have put them in with the flock.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #6 of 7

DE is not going to do much externally if there are mites or lice present.....and it will do nothing internally if there are worms present.

 

Best bet is to:

-Keep them as far apart as possible from your current birds. 

-Keep a close eye on them as they acclimate to their new surrounding for any signs of illness.

-Examine them closely by parting feathers down the the skin around vent, head, neck and under wings for signs of external parasites.

...best to do this after dark with a bright head light and someone to help hold them while you examine, they'll be easier to handle in their sleepiness.

-Gather feces samples from the new birds and have a fecal exam done by someone who knows about acceptable levels of avian internal parasites.

 

 

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......

......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.

See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

 

Integration of new chickens into flock.

 

Consider medical quarantine:

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

 

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.

Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

 

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

 

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

 

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

 

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

 

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

 

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

 

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

 

Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224

 

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

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."

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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 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone!! this is all great advise!!

15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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15 Adult Chickens, 15 chicks, 3 silkies, 5 pigs, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 cat, and more to come!!! Living the Blessed Life!
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