Do I need to quarantine chickens from my friend?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ehoneybee, May 21, 2019.

  1. ehoneybee

    ehoneybee Songster

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    Obviously my birds are healthy and her birds are healthy, so am I separating them because they dont know each other yet, or is it for disease? If either flock gets sick in 4 weeks during quarantining, dont you always take that chance in a flock?
     
  2. 1. There is no "obviously" when it comes to assuming chicken health. No offense. Seriously. A human being a good friend to another human has nothing to do with chicken health and there is still the real possibility that your friend's birds are carriers of something that is simply not super obvious. Or your birds are the carriers and your friend's flock gets infected by your birds if you gave your friend some of your birds.
    2. "Separation" when it comes to a slow/controlled/incremental introduction of new chickens to an existing flock (so the existing flock doesn't murder the new guys) is not the same as quarantine. Quarantine is them being so physically removed from each other that even airborne diseases are not floating from the new to the old birds. Far enough from each other that the period of quarantine doesn't really serve any purpose for slow/controlled/incremental introduction. That slow/controlled/incremental introduction comes after the quarantine is over.

    It is all about how risk adverse you are. Some folks are totally happy with the "there is a lower risk since I know my buddy keeps things clean" method, but others are of the opinion that you need to quarantine for weeks and weeks with close observation before you even let the chickens lay eyes on each other. I have a saltwater fish tank and the question of quarantine is a big one. It is a major hassle to maintain a quarantine tank for new fish.
     
  3. ehoneybee

    ehoneybee Songster

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    But if the chickens have something that isnt showing up, what will a few weeks do, kwim? When they get together after that time, anything they have will go to the other flock anyway. Or am I misunderstanding? Is it more if they JUST got infected with something that hasnt shown up yet?
     
  4. Yep. I understand and generally agree. The only two reasons for a real quarantine are to catch things that present themselves via symptoms seen during that time period, and to medicate broad spectrum/prophylactically to kill things that are not visible yet (or won't be visible until an outbreak). For my fish, I treated them with antibiotics and antifungals during quarantine. Entire tank gets medicated. Don't want to do that type of thing in a main tank. For chickens, I could see someone arguing that quarantine could serve the purpose of you being able to treat for mites or worms in all of the quarantined chickens before the new chickens are introduced to the old chickens. But then again, you could just as easily treat both old and new birds for mites and worms.....
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    If you and your friend have visited each others flock, quarantine may be moot as they've probably already been exposed to each others 'germs'.

    Here's a good article about true quarantine,
    most back-yarders don't have the space to do this properly.
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article


    Integration is a whole other ballgame.
    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
     
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  6. Kuntry Klucker

    Kuntry Klucker Thekuntryklucker.blog

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    yes!! you need to quartine any new birds no matter who they are from or where they are from. Just because a bird looks healthy does not mean that it could have something that can be passed on to your chickens. Biosecurity is something that needs to be taken seriously when introducing any new birds to your flock.

    then new member will also need to be separated and introduced slowly to your established flock of chickens. Take it slow, patients is the key when bringing in new members to your flock.
     
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  7. ehoneybee

    ehoneybee Songster

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    I have 2 feeders, 2 waterers, and the 2 flocks are in their own coops but can see each other through the run.
     
    aart likes this.
  8. SW31

    SW31 Songster

    I’m glad we quarantined our new birds. One had fowl pox. She’s fine now but I didn’t want it to spread.

    We followed Aart’s recommendations and the integration went well. After less than three months they are now working together as one flock, splitting up into two smaller groups then coming back together again. They still roost in two houses but that’s fine as there wouldn’t really be sufficient space for all six hens in one house. They all know their place in the pecking order.
     
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  9. ehoneybee

    ehoneybee Songster

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    Never heard of fowl pox!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Wet or dry pox?
     

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