Knowing how to properly quarantine chickens is a important part of poultry keeping. Whether you have a sick bird, or are bringing in new chicken(s) , it is important to quarantine to reduce the risk of bringing a new disease in, or letting an existing one spread.
THE INSIDE ENCLOSURE
A garage or basement is a good place to quarantine a sick bird as long as it is not by the chicken coop. A large dog crate or rabbit hutch makes a good quarantine enclosure. I used a rabbit hutch, and lined the bottom with pieces of cardboard to make cleaning easy. Every other day I just took the old cardboard out and replaced it with fresh stuff. I put hay on one end, to make a comfy nesting spot. When I cleaned out the cardboard I cleaned out the hay as well, and replaced it with fresh stuff. Make sure to properly dispose of the cardboard and hay, as not to infect the rest of your flock. (I had hay on hand, but you could use straw or pine shavings as well.)
A plastic chick waterer holds enough water for one chicken, and takes up less room than a full sized waterer. I used a chick feeder as well, but my hen kept spilling the feed so I ended up just feeding her outside. You can improvise and use something like a Cool-Whip dish instead.
After your chicken is done being quarantined, make sure to disinfect everything it touched. This would include enclosures, feeders, waterers, and the floor directly below the enclosures.
THE OUTSIDE ENCLOSURE
New or sick chickens should be quarantined AT LEAST 30 FEET from the rest of your flock. I used a 6 foot high, 10 by 4 foot dog fence. Any kind of fence you can keep your chicken in should work though.
Don't let your flock wander where the sick or new chicken was for AT LEAST A MONTH after the chicken is done being quarantined. Depending on if your chicken was sick, you may want to wait even longer.
THE QUARANTINED CHICKEN AND YOU
The MINIMUM quarantine time for sick or new chickens IS 30 DAYS. If your chicken had a smaller injury, or something non contagious like a impacted crop, they may be able to go back to the flock sooner than that.
Turning a radio to classical or soft jazz music can help calm a stressed or restless bird, as can putting a ticking clock next to the bird's enclosure.
Wash your hands well and change your shoes after handing the new or sick bird(s), and before taking care of the rest of your flock. If you have time, changing clothes and taking a shower after handing sick or new bird(s) is a good idea to.
I hope this article helped you with quarantining new or sick birds(s). If you have anymore questions involving quarantining birds, ask me in the comments or send me a PM.
(Special thanks to @TwoCrows for the suggestion of the music and ticking clock.)
QUARANTINING CHICKENS: HOW TO, AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
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