Do You Worm Hatchery Chicks?

ObiHenKanobi

In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2020
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Morning everyone!

I have a couple 4-week old female chicks arriving from McMurray hatchery next week and am not sure how to make sure they are healthy. I know they need to be quarantined for 30 days with a separate area to sleep and a separate run. I have these both set up on opposite sides of my yard.

I'm worried about them bringing other things like worms, mites or other pests that wouldn't necessarily make them sick, but would introduce something negative to my flock. Thus far I have had a closed flock and have only added babies that a hen has hatched. I decided to get these two chicks because I really wanted an Australorp and an Ameruacana.

What do you do when new chicks arrive by the mail?

Would love information about health/safety precautions and anything you do to make sure everyone is happy & healthy.
 

ObiHenKanobi

In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2020
39
20
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Hatchery chicks should not need any quarantine or medications.
They are about the safest additions you can do.
Really? I thought you always had to quarantine new chickens before adding them to your flock? Does that not apply here since the McMurray chicks are only 4 weeks old?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Really? I thought you always had to quarantine new chickens before adding them to your flock? Does that not apply here since the McMurray chicks are only 4 weeks old?
It's because it's coming from a reputable hatchery.
Hatcheries are pretty clean places, they can't afford not to be.
So I seriously doubt it would have any bugs or disease.
 

ObiHenKanobi

In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2020
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It's because it's coming from a reputable hatchery.
Hatcheries are pretty clean places, they can't afford not to be.
So I seriously doubt it would have any bugs or disease.
Ok thank you! Do you think it would be Ok to put the new 4-week old chicks in with my 6-week old chicks from the get go then?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Do you think it would be Ok to put the new 4-week old chicks in with my 6-week old chicks from the get go then?
Well, you still need to integrate them, probably can't just toss them in together.
How big is the coop and run, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would help here.

Here's some tips about.....
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.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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I haven't thought much on 4-week-old hatchery chicks. The main reason newly hatched hatchery chicks are so safe is that the incubating and hatching operations are separated from the the egg laying operation. The biosecurity between the two different operations is tremendous. These are not newly hatched. Raising them until they are 4 weeks old adds a third area of operations, one that pretty continuously has birds living in it. That raises the risks some. I'd think the biosecurity is still pretty darn good and probably would not quarantine them, but I'd think about it. Just overthinking it as I often do.

Some people can add 4 week old chick to 6 week olds and have no issues. But some people have issues adding 6 week olds to 6 week olds. With living animals you never know how it will turn out. Typically the more room you have the better. If you are getting them from McMurray you are in the US and should have weather where they will not need any supplemental heat. That helps.

In your situation I'd try adding them. Sometimes the simplest solution works fine. I think you have a pretty good chance. But I'd observe and have a Plan B ready. You may need to go through an integration. With living animals you just don't know.
 

ObiHenKanobi

In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2020
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20
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The 4-week olds arrived happy and healthy from McMurray, they have been eating non-stop! I'm actually going to keep them separate not for quarantine reasons but because they are SO much smaller than my 6-week olds. These ones are an Australorp and Ameruacana - they are about 1/4 of the size of my 6 week old Brahama mixed chicks!

Thank you for all the advice everyone, will def be following it when I do actually start mixing everyone together.
 

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