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Craigslist Chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cierra, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Cierra

    Cierra Out Of The Brooder

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    I did some poor chicken math when I brought my chicks home in May, and I need to round up my flock by three. There are some 6-month old chickens for sale on Craigslist right now, and I'm thinking of getting three.

    My question- I am worried about introducing disease into my disease-free coop and yard, and I'm wondering what I should look for to avoid issues. I will pick the chickens up at the seller's house, so I will look for general cleanliness, but what else would be an indication of unwell chickens?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Put a "sacrificial" hen with the new ones for the 30 day quarantene. If no health problems arise in that hen then they should be ok to introduce to the rest of the flock.
     
  3. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why is it necessary to use a 'sacrificial hen'? Why not quarantene the new hens for the 30 days and if no health problems arise then just introduce them to the existing flock?
     
  4. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Sometimes the new flock appear to be healthy but can be carriers of a disease. The "sacrificial" hen helps to find out if they are carriers spreading from one flock to another. I am on my first flock, but this is what my neighbor does when he gets new adult birds. And I have read that many on here do that. Me personally, I would rather do it and loose 1 bird than not and maybe loose an entire flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Drainage from the eyes, coughing, missing feathers, small for age (underweight), scales on legs, external parasites- look near the vent and under their wings. As to what TurtlePowerTrav said: I've never heard of using a sacrificial hen. The usual recommendation is to quarantine the new hens for 30 days and then introduce them to the existing flock. I am not an expert on chickens, so please feel free to check with those with more experience.

     
  6. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that they may be carriers of disease. That is the rationale for the quarantine. It's just that I have never heard of using a sacrificial hen. After all what does it accomplish? By the end of 30 days, you should see if the new hens have disease. It's unnecessary to sacrifice a healthy hen. Anyway, I am new to chickens so I'm not going to assume I am right. I'll bow to those with experience.

    Addendum: My apologies TurtlePowerTrav. I woke up last night and the light bulb finally went off. You made it pretty clear in your very first sentence so I can't offer a reason why I didn't get it the first time, but I do understand now. So Cierra...sacrifice the hen!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  7. Cierra

    Cierra Out Of The Brooder

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    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thanks to everyone for the advice! I've built a good sized coop, but I'm not sure where I could house three chickens seperately for 30 days. What do people typically do in this situation? I don't think a partition would be an awesome germ barrier. Do folks keep a smaller enclosure for situations like this?
     
  8. serama rooster

    serama rooster Out Of The Brooder

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    you should look for any ailment go online and check symptoms and maybe using a sacrfical hen isnt to bad so i think you should try it see the one that isnt that great there is still a 90 percent chance of it living i think
     
  9. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    The "sacrificial" hen thing must be a northwest thing, maybe. I have not had to do it as I am raising my first flock. But I have a lot of relatives and friends that have done it that way for generations. I would rather loose one good hen and the new birds, if they are diseased, than loose an entire flock. I will probably have a flock of 30-50 within a couple of years. You don't have to follow any one persons advice. That is why I love BYC, so many different stories and wisdom on raising chickens. I am mearly giving an option to what I know has worked in my area. [​IMG]
     
  10. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, my brain is still mulling this over. So...you quarantine the new birds for 30 days. At the end of that time, if they have a disease you will know it. Now I believe you are saying that you need to put a sacrificial hen in the mix in case the new birds don't show any signs of disease because they are only carriers. So here is my question: What is the likelihood that "all" the new birds will be carriers? It would make sense to me if there were only one new bird, but all of them?
     

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