Originally Posted by h2oratt
Do you all quarantine all your new birds? What type of precautions do you take.
First thing straight out of the shipping box is to inspect birds for external parasites and use Poultry Protector per label instructions as a preventative lice/mite maintenance and she's put into an indoor 4x4 kennel with a nestbox, feed, and water, to start quarantine. The kennel and accessories are all sterilized/disinfected after quarantine is over.
Second, I take an immediate fecal sample to the vet to test for worms or cocci - it's amazing how many shipped juveniles have internal parasites and need to be wormed or treated with Corid. I lost a 3-mo juvenile because the breeder didn't inform me she hadn't wormed before shipping. After that fiasco I don't trust all breeders to be upfront about issues they're having - some breeders are great and not afraid to share issues while other breeders sneakily hide info because they don't want to lose a sale or they are just too busy with daily life and assume you as the customer know what to look for already.
Third, I quarantine a new bird for a full month if there are no health issues - but I have never yet received a shipped bird that didn't need either worming and/or cocci treatment (cocci takes 3 weeks of Corid treatment per my vet). The month of quarantine also allows us to socialize the new pullet in-house and wait for her to grow to adult size at 4 to 5 months of age before introducing to the outdoor flock. While the new pullet is in-house we use a long door mirror on the floor for her to enjoy her reflection. Chickens are flock birds and enjoy being with another chicken even if it's only her own reflection to kiss, talk to, and sleep with! Chicken diaper in-house is optional.
Fourth, when the pullet is old enough and big enough to introduce to the outdoor flock she is separated by a rabbit fence in the yard from the rest of the flock so they can see each other thru the fence while foraging together. At roost time we put the new pullet in a grated nestbox for the night and in the morning the old girls see the new girl through the grate and then toodle off to forage in the backyard. We take the new pullet out of the nestbox and set her back on her side of the rabbit fence on her side. After 5-6 days of seeing each other this way we finally take the grate down from the nestbox and hopefully after this slow introduction there will be a minimum of pecking order squabbles as the new pullet joins the flock in the morning. The new pullet should be pretty much accepted by the flock after several days of seeing each other through grates and fences. We used painter's tape to hold the plastic grate in place in the nestbox. Don't laugh! It worked!