Adding flock members: hatchery vs local breeder

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dangersjones, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. dangersjones

    dangersjones Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2016
    At the beginning of March we started a flock with four (month and a half old) pullets. We've got to rehome a cockerel which makes room for another pullet (or two). I know that there must be a quarantine when adding new birds but is there any plus or minus to getting birds about the same age from a hatchery (mail order), a feed store or a local breeder? I've read that they should be kept at separate ends of the yard anywhere from two weeks to months. Thanks!
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    There's not really any need for quarantine when ordering from a large hatchery; e.g. McMurray, Cackle, Meyer, etc. These hatcheries keep their birds under very strict biosecurity and of course being NPIP certified, their stock are all regularly tested for most all common diseases.

    Honestly I'd say it depends on what you want. If all you want is a simple laying hen, e.g. Barred Rock, Sex Link, New Hampshire, then a hatchery is fine. If you are after a specific trait... colored egg laying, nicely patterned feathers, a temperament that is true to the breed... then I would recommend searching out a breeder, as their birds will be more correct.

    Quarantine should take place either inside a building entirely separate from the flock or a few hundred feet away from them outdoors. The absolute bare minimum required is two weeks, but three to four is far preferable.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Another consideration is about Marek's disease vaccination. If your new chicks are vaccinated as day- olds, they need two or three weeks isolated from your flock to develop immunity, a very good idea, if there's any chance that Marek's disease might be in your flock already. Mary

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