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Adopting hens and rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by localgardener, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. localgardener

    localgardener Out Of The Brooder

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    My coop is finally built and instead of waiting til Spring for chicks I will be adopting 4 pullets and a rooster from a client who has too many. What can I do or expect after introducing them to their new digs?

    Thanks
     
  2. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] from Ohio.

    if they have been kept in a pen together, they should take the move just fine. keep an eye on them for mites and lice, if your in the United States, it is the season for parasites. they may stop laying for a couple of weeks, its common and nothing to worry about.
     
  3. localgardener

    localgardener Out Of The Brooder

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    Erin, Ontario
    These 5 are coming from a terrific farm and have been living with about 45 more chickens. They have been raised on quality organic feed, lots of kitchen scraps in a beautiful barn with lots of field space to roam.

    Thanks for the reply
     
  4. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the field space would be your worst issue, they probably came into contact with wild birds. they are probably fine, but there has probably been exposure. keep in mind its impossible to raise a "problem free" flock. just watch for eye swelling, common parasites, or anything out of the normal. if you notice something, ask about it on here - there are several people on here who are very knowledgeable. they will usually steer you in the right direction.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    How does one avoid their chickens coming into contact with wild birds, short of keeping them locked in an entirely enclosed coop? Even if they're in a run, birds can and will roost on top of the run, pooping in it and dropping parasites if that's what your concern is. My birds free range, and as far as I know have never had a problem with parasites - internal or external.

    OP, sounds like your chickens will do just fine. I truly believe that being able to roam keeps them healthier.(Well, except for potential predator problems, but as far as illness goes...) I don't know if you're planning on free ranging or not, or if you have a run attached to your coop, but here's what I do: When I move my chickens from one coop to another, or get new ones, I keep them locked in their run/coop area for about a week or so. That way they can recognize their new location as home. They will then return there to roost at night. If you don't have an attached run, but your coop is large enough to keep them in for a week, that's what I would suggest.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This. I have wild birds in the run all the time, never had an issue.
     
  7. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    where the issue typically is with free range, is when they come in contact with bird's nests on the ground. in this area for instance, killdeer nest on the ground. if they have fowl mites especially, they will infest the nest and surrounding areas. and yes, internal parasites can be spread by manure, especially coccidiosis. nearly every North American flock has some sort of parasite, it is actually better for a chicken to have a mild case of worms than to be worm free. a few worms encourage eating and drinking bringing more nutrients into the body. most people will also experience either lice or mites or even both in their first year.

    we are getting into an area here where i dont practice what i preach LOL, i encourage everyone else to make sure they get grass, bugs and sunlight. chickens who get out in the run get these things and are typically healthy, even with some illness. they can recover from most poultry diseases, and thrive again. the issue with this, is they become carriers of certain diseases. you then in some cases have to vaccinate any new chickens coming to your flock to keep them from getting a "carried" illness. Coryza, and mericks are a couple of these diseases. i myself am a little more commercial in nature, i cannot risk sending potential carriers out of my flock. we have around 550 chickens, penned in small groups - the largest being about 16 in one pen. if any of these pens show signs of illness, typically the whole pen is quarantined until the problem is known. sometimes nearby pens are also quarantined for safety reasons. if the illness is something that i could inadvertently send to a customer, the birds are culled - along with eggs in the incubator and potentially infected chicks. any "nearby" pens are watched for signs of the illness, and culled if needed. we maintain 2 separate flocks in separate buildings, in case one whole building had to be culled. a simple illness can cost me thousands, so i do what i can to prevent them. i am far from organic, but i offer organic solutions whenever possible, isn't that why most of us got into chickens? so we knew what went into what we were eating.

    i am not saying the OP's birds have something - its just an issue that happens more commonly that most people realize. they asked what to expect with moving chickens and appear to be new at it since they just built a coop. im just telling them some of the things to watch for, and that there is a slim chance for some exposure.

    to the OP:
    don't let this discourage you from keeping chickens in any way! it's is an awesome hobby, most people become truly affectionate to their flock. more chickens are killed by kindness than disease. remember; chickens have no friends in nature, including themselves- so be prepared to the best of your ability. when you get stuck, there's almost always someone on BYC that can help you.

    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  8. localgardener

    localgardener Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Erin, Ontario
    Thanks for the replies

    My main concern is for them to get use to their new home. I have a 100 sq ft coop with a 100 sq ft run. We live on a large country property so these will be free range. I think I'll keep them in the coop/run for a few days, as suggested. Thanks again.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Oh yeah, they'll have plenty of room to roam in the coop and run while they're getting acclimated! Enjoy your new birds!
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have had very good luck getting grown birds, and you will be getting eggs soon! You might get an egg the next day or even two, but do not be alarmed if they then quit for a couple of days, the stress from moving might set them back a bit, but not a whole lot. they will quickly start laying again, unless they are more than a year old. Young chicks will lay through the winter, but older than a year, usually take a bit of time off with the shorter days unless you add ligth. They will start laying quite regular as the day lengths.

    The thing I would caution you on is the Rooster..... roosters can be a crap shoot, some are wonderful and some are demons...... if you have young children, roosters can be a bad idea. One just needs to be aware when they have a rooster.

    It is a great deal of fun, having chickens, good luck!

    Mrs K
     

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