Am I putting my new flock in danger?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My two year old brahma flock have not been vaccinated for anything. They were on medicated starter as chicks.
    When my new babies arrive this week I intend to try a cautionary introduction between one of my two year old hens and the chicks. Yes, I know the dangers! but I will be watching the whole time and I feel that it's worth the risk. This hen "Lilith" has always been a loner, never accepted into my flock and I want to see if she can make a new start as part of the second flock. Both she and the new chicks could benefit. She's a very gentle and quiet soul.
    Then I got to worrying. Never have I had an illness in the flock *knock on wood* but what if there was something? What if there was an illness that was so slight I never saw signs and symptoms, but caused my adult birds to become carriers? Lilith has had an illness herself, but it was from swallowing broken glass.
    The chicks are going to be with the adult birds at about 3 weeks anyhow. I'll be moving them to the coop in a seperate space.
    Am I worrying for nothing? I really want to try this with Lilith.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  2. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    If you are planning on merging the flocks in three weeks why not wait to introduce them till then?

    You should keep the babies separate for a week or two at least in case anything is wrong with them from the hatchery.

    I don't see why you are bumping the 'howdy!' date up when you've already planned it for 3 weeks from now.
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Why take the risk? You cant see diseases, germs, viruses etc....Do you really want Lilith to be the guinea pig...or visa versa, your chicks? I've read alot of horror stories on here concerning this very subject. Play it safe, remember biosecurity. Good luck!
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    They "say" to quarantine them for something like 30 days..(i think)..
    So that would be about 4 weeks....
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:But I remember a thread where Speckledhen replied (I think it was Speckled) and she said the 30 day quarantine only counted for other birds brought in; not chicks from the hatchery.
    I just don't know. DH came up with an awesome plan for a seperation pen in the coop last night. If this heat wave keeps up, the chicks will be going to the coop sooner rather than later. [​IMG]
    ETA: I have PMed Speckled about the quarantine issue.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I have never quarantined hatchery stock that I bought the day it came into the feed store from Ideal. I'd say, for the most part, that would be safe unless they do not sanitize the brooders at the feed store and/or they bring in chicks from other sources and add them in with the hatchery stock. Hatcheries are not completely safe, considering the Avian Encephalomyelitis outbreak in recent times at McMurray, but are safer than most ways to acquire chicks. You can certainly quarantine hatchery chicks if you want to do so, but I never did when I was buying them. I no longer buy any chicks from anywhere, only hatching eggs and everyone hatches here now, so it's not an issue for me anymore. I have a couple of three year old Brahmas and a two year old banty Cochin as my youngest hatchery acquisitions and no issues with them.

    For adults, 4 weeks is minimum, 6 is better.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Thanks Cyn! [​IMG]

    The new chicks are coming straight from Ideal, no feed store involved. They'll be in a new brooder, that is to say that the wading pool part will be brand new. The PVC pipes we use to make a frame around it (for the draft guard), will be the ones from last time, but will be wrapped in plastic:


    As I already stated, no illness in the big flock. Lilith had a time of it for awhile. Once her comb even turned purple when she was close to dying, but I think that was all related to the swallowed glass. She has since recovered.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Personally I'd wait... not so much for quarantine reasons (although it is not impossible for hatchery chicks to carry stuff) as for wanting the new chicks to get "on their feet" a little more firmly before challenging their immune systems. Travel and change are stressful for them, you know? Once they have been at your place a few weeks, and grown a bit, they will be in a better position to deal with whatever local germs your existing flock has.

    That's just me, though, and I am not sure it makes a *big* difference.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Thanks Pat. I always appreciate your wisdom. [​IMG]
  10. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I introduce my new chicks slowly to the local bacteria count. After one week old I start introducing chopped up clover from the yard. At 2 weeks small clumps of grass. 3 weeks big chunks of grass and weeds I know the older birds have been around.

    By the time they are ready for outties, they have adjusted to the biology of the area they will be living in.

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