9 Years
Aug 15, 2010
I'd like to know more about it. I'd like to know what you all think about the guidelines. I know that we don't fully follow them. It is mostly because we are new to chickens and haven't been able to get things fenced in the way we would like. What we had planned out turned out to not be the best idea so we are working on things as we can. I talked to a friend about the fact that I had ordered some waterproof disposable booties for when others came to visit and that I thought they were a neat idea. I wasn't telling her she needed to buy them, just that we used them at a farm we visited and I thought they were at neat idea for visitors. The response I got was that the idea of doing anything different to try and prevent disease from being brought to your flock was just stupid.

It really bothered me and got me thinking that I should ask what others do and find out how others feel about the guidelines. I am new to this so maybe I am not reading things right.
You can't be too careful, in my opinion. Rather than have people wear shoe covers, I just flat do NOT allow them near my chickens or ducks. If someone is coming to buy a rooster or hen I will cage that bird separately and meet them at the other end of the property or at a store 6 miles away. And ANY bird sold does not come back, ever. I only buy eggs for hatching, never started birds.

I used to be pretty free-wheeling about it, but not anymore. Too many diseases/too much risk these days, since so many have jumped on the chicken bandwagon without really educating themselves.
Biosecurity is important. My neighbors have chickens....we live in the country and they are about a block away. My chickens have thrived and are laying and are younger than theirs. Mine are large and have great feathering and theirs are small and sickly looking to me. I would not let them in my pens. Their son, my nephew comes and helps me on projects at the house that I cannot do myself. He NEVER goes in their coop or run. If he did I would not let him in mine.

I have five new chickens, three pullets and two hens. I have gone to great lenghts to keep them far apart and I feed and water them last after my other chickens. I wash my hands after coming back into the house. I have them in a chicken tractor so I don't go in their coop/run, I just move it on to the next location. I only have to reach in and get their food and water bowls to refill them. If they were in a permanent coop and run I would actually change shoes. I try to be concious about what I am doing. So far everyone looks healthy and that is what I want. Three more weeks of segregation.

I believe in the reasons for biosecurity. I worked for a major pork producer for seven years. Part of their success is their biosecurity practices.

And the boots.....good idea. Am thinking of buying the new rubber boots for women that I have seen everywhere. At least I could wash them off on the way back from the coops and runs.

Who cares what others think as long as you keep your chickens healthy? Mine don't free range except in an enclosed garden spot next to their they aren't running around the yard. They have a huge enclosed run that is covered and only get into the garden when I have the lawn chair out and can sit and watch them. Oh, and there are only three or four of us that are ever in the run. Usually it is just me.
I wouldn't be too concerned about your friends and the general public that don't own chickens. Those that visit our place that do own chickens I worry more about. Either they have to stay out of the barn and pasture area or they wear shoe covers for a quick visit into the area.

When I visit other places that have chickens, I don't handle or get too close to the birds and I clean up my footwear and wash my clothes before going out to my own barn.

Last week we were at a corn maze and one of my nieces wanted me to identify some chickens on the premises. I told I'd go look if I didn't have to go inside the coop. I was able to look in through a window and tell her what she wanted to know. We have over 2500 hens here that cost $15,000 as point-of -lay pullets. I don't hang out with strange chickens.
Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. This friend does have chickens, but has not been to our home since we have gotten ours. I guess we will do what we can to get a fence up as soon as possible. Unfortunately it may be as long as two months before we can even consider it.
Not exactly excellent timing living in Wisconsin.
I really don't take biosecurity too seriously, at least not in the sense often proposed here.
I have shown poultry since 1962. That means for 48 years my birds have been exposed several times a year to other's birds. As yet I have never had ANY problem as a result of this contact.
When returning from a show I dust the birds that are returning with louse powder & then they go right back where they were before the show. No quarantine.
I rarely add any new stock but when I do it always comes from a known source & again, no quarantine.
Judging from the never ending "my chickens are sick" posts on this site I'm either the luckiest chicken owner alive [hasn't helped me win the Lottery] or I may be doing something right.
I believe I'm doing something right & that is I breed for disease resistance. There's a long, recent thread on that subject if you care to review it.

PS- I know a lot of other people who show regularly who do pretty much the same thing I do with similar results.
Is there any way to find out if there are reported bird diseases that are common or on the rise in a specific area? Do I need to be worried about disease from cattle being spread to my chickens? There are not many with chickens in this area, but unfortunately we have plenty of factory type farming operations in the area.
x2 I also certainly do not ban people from seeing my chickens. I live in an urban area, and if people come to visit they visit outside where the chickens are. I do not have acreage to seperate and all that mess. I am a firm believer in breeding for resistance, it just makes a lot of sense to me. I personally did not quarantine the new hens I got from a good friend of mine (have gotten chickens from her in the past), and it has been about 3 months or so and nothing has popped up.

Even if people do the 60 day quarantine all that does is allow you to see illness IF it shows up. Many times no symptoms will show, and the quarantine proves pointless. It is all really personal opinion and personal preference. I have friends who own chickens, they are welcome at my house anytime and vice versa. I do not have them put... Booties on.. Or anything like that.

There is no right or wrong way of doing things. This way has worked well for me, but many others are probably choking on their coffee as they read about my lack of intense biosecurity. lol!

I hope you read a lot and find your own path! There are no absolutes when it comes to chickens, no one path that leads to total success. Take a bit from each person and do your own thing
Many people have good advice to offer, take what you want and leave the rest.

Most of all, enjoy your flock!
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Thank you for your thoughts. It sounds like I need to look more into breeding for resistance. I may be thinking about that wrong. It doesn't sound like something I can do unless we are hatching our own. There is always something new to learn!
Yep I would take bits and pieces of information, quarantine NEVER harms anything, so if you are able to do that it may be the right route
Soon enough I am sure you will be hatching out chicks LOL this addiction only grows!

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