Adding a few New chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Alabama ee, May 21, 2010.

  1. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2010
    A few questions...

    I have never added any new chickens to an existing flock. I always just sold all and started new. Anyway, I have several EE's and I am thinking of adding a few Welsummers.
    The ones I have now, the EE's, are about 3 months old.

    1.The EE's have had MAreks vaccinations but the Welsummers have not. Would you vaccinate the newcommers also? There are a lot of chicken farms, and others that have chickens around here.
    2. Should I seperate them for a while?
    3. I have a choice of getting some Welsummers that are a little younger than my EE's, or just a couple months older. Which is best?
     
  2. damselfish

    damselfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. That's a judgment call. I mixed non-Marek's new chick purchases with a prior year flock that had been vaccinated as chicks. I had no problems, but it could have just been luck. If I had it to do over again, I think I might vaccinate just to be consistent.
    2. Separating, I would separate them for quarantine reasons as well as socialization/getting used to each other reasons.
    3. Completely unscientific, the very, very few Welsummers I've had have been inclined to peck smaller chicks. So I'd get younger Welsummers. But again, I've only had two (or was it three?) Welsummers, ever, so it's not like this is a well-researched response.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I guess I will go ahead and vaccinate. I can then just seperate for about a week or so while the vaccine does its thing and to quarantine just in case the new ones have something .

    Thanks again and have a great weekend.
     
  4. madmantrapper

    madmantrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the quarantine is just to see if the new have any illness, are you waiting to see if any die or is there something else to look for?
     
  5. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It is mainly to keep the rest of the flock from catching any illness, worms etc they might have. (Hopefully, they will have none.) Also, to let the MAreks vaccine have time to kick in . After that, I will move them closer to the rest of flock, still keeping them separate so they can get used to each other. Then, I will mix them with the rest of the flock.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quarantine of at least a month is the least you can do to try to keep your flock safe. It is for observation of the new birds, to look for symptoms, plus worm and treat for lice/mites. And you absolutely do NOT give antibiotics during quarantine. That period is to allow symptoms to show up so you do not add the birds to your flock at all. You are looking for discharges from eyes, nose or ears, breathing abnormalities, etc.

    Quarantine is not perfect. If the new ones are carriers of some disease, they may not show symptoms of it, but your current ones could become ill later, since carriers may shed the disease even while themselves being asymptomatic.

    This is why I never buy birds from anyone, even those I trust. It's very stressful to me.
     
  7. madmantrapper

    madmantrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To treat for lice, do you dip in salt water?
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Never heard of that treatment for lice--salt water? You use poultry dust (permethrin-based, I think) or food grade diatomaceous earth or, if you can't find either, Sevin dust 5%.
     
  9. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:After reading your post, I am gettting a little nervous about adding a few more.

    Do you buy from hatcheries? I was debating doing that or from someone local. Last time, I bought from Mt Healthy. It was a great experience. However, They don't have Welsummers. Also, I wanted to buy just a few. I know My Pet Chicken does just a few, but the prices are so high. Also, I can get older birds from the local person. He does have his flocks tested, but they are not tested for everything. In fairness to the local person, I am not sure even the large hatcheries test for everything.
     
  10. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't quarantine except for behavior. I pen up the newcomers in outside runs for a week or two so they can get used to one another then I supervise the integration. But...I got this year's newcomers from a chicken show. The chances of a sick chicken being entered in a show are very low. They are judged by professionals and checked for mites among other things...those things get them disqualified from entering.
     

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