Are Started Pullets Safe?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HuskerHens18, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. I'm having problems with random deaths all this summer, just peek at my previous threads.

    I haven't had a death in several weeks now. Unfortunately mostly hens perished and my hen to roo ratio is out of whack by a huge number.
    I really do not want to take out roosters as they work together very well to protect my hens, if I remove them then my hens will be short on bodyguards. Sadly it didn't take long to start noticing bald spots on their backs, so I'm running out of time to decide.

    I found 2 places within short driving distance selling started pullets, I've bought chicks from the one and the other place usually sells chicken meat, not living ones, but I guess they do this every fall.

    My issue is, I worry about bringing in new illness or making the new ones sick.

    Are Started pullets just as risky as bringing in regular adult birds?
     
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  2. Feather Hearts

    Feather Hearts Crowing

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    If you quarantine correctly introducing started pullets shouldn't be an issue. Ask if they are vaccinated against Marek's and worm them.Quarantine for forty days(It may seem like a very long time, but I always do this and have never had issues with disease) and then begin to integrate. I have had great experience with started red sex link pullets, as they are the most popular breed in NZ. Good luck, and keep us posted on your decison :)
     
  3. I can do that! I am trying to fix up an old goat shed, its connected to my bantam barn but they'd have 0 access to each other as they'd be separated by 2 thick wood walls. That really gives me hope, thank you! The one place is selling started ISA Browns (which I think are red sexlinks?) and the other is selling mixed breed, good egg layers.
    I'll definitely update! :)
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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  5. Feather Hearts

    Feather Hearts Crowing

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    The goat shed should work just great! Started pullets, so I find, are great for bringing flock numbers up. ISA browns are a type of Red Sexlink, red sexlinks are mainly crosses between two heritage breeds(Rhode Island Reds mostly) I believe. How many birds did you lose? It may pay to get pullets from both places for genetic diversity.
     
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    I also think it is important to know what was killing your own birds before you bring in any new ones, otherwise you may just continue to have more losses.
    Stress increases the chances of disease breaking out and spreading. Integration of new birds causes stress.
    Multiple cockerels also cause stress and can cause injury as well as feather loss. How old are your boys? Apart from acting as look outs and early warning systems, most roosters are not effective as "bodyguards". Not worth the aggravation to the pullets in my opinion.

    Marek's is one of the few diseases that can evade quarantine due to it having long dormant phases and being in adjacent coops would certainly not quarantine for it at all. There is a risk with bringing anything other than day old chicks from a good hatchery with biosecurity, into your flock, but since you have already had problems with random deaths, your flock may be more of a risk to any new birds you buy.
     
  7. Feather Hearts

    Feather Hearts Crowing

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    Very true, :goodpost:
     
  8. That's just it, we've got no clue. Did necropsies at the university and nothing came back except coccidia, the rest were isolated cases(egg bound and some bacteria in the gut). I had them check for Marek's, they came back clear. Treated coccidia and there were still deaths afterwards. Spent a good 1000$ on necropsies alone, not counting vet bills. Had a couple die of heat I'm pretty sure, we had 105°F for a week straight even during the nighttime.

    I'm confident in my roosters, I love them to bits. They're 2 years old and very good protection, I've witnessed it many times. We get stray dogs often, and TONS of hawks. My cockerels are housed in the rooster flock, no hen access.

    I can find different ways to house them too, the goat shed was more convenient, but I've got options. Was considering turning a grain bin into a chicken coop, it's tin though so I'd be battling the heat stress in summer.
     
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  9. I lost nearly 20 birds, I'd have to get my booklet out and count the losses. Last time I counted I lost 15, but several died after that. The last one that died I believe died from being crushed during a storm in mid July, so hopefully not related to previous deaths.
    I'd have to check my timeline, but I THINK it's been over a month since my last mysterious death.

    And that's what I was thinking too! :)
     
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