Don't bring in a new chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jeffomatic, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Jeffomatic

    Jeffomatic In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2010
    I have three Australorp hens I raised from chicks through laying age. They've been very healthy and beautiful and began laying nearly daily at 6 months. There was a fourth chicken that turned out to be a rooster. At 5 months, I took him back to the lady I got the chicks from and traded him for a Buff Orpington pullet about a month younger than my flock. The Buff has given my flock a respiratory illness. It has fortunately been mild, consisting of a week or so of coughing/sneezing without discharge.

    I have regretted getting the new pullet. Even though the illness seems mild and I may get lucky this time, I unwittingly violated some very important health rules for a flock.
    DO NOT introduce any new chickens! They call it the all-in, all-out rule. Raise your flock as one age group. I also violated another two rules.. no new breeds (even though Buff Orps and Australorps are from the same root stock,) and the age difference was a bad thing too. The lady doesn't have a very tidy operation and raises different ages and breeds all together. I should have been aware of several danger signs! DUH. I just hope I haven't done permanent damage to these beautiful hens.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010

  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Very sad. Please do educate yourself about respiratory diseases in chickens, learn what a carrier is, how to avoid this happening again, etc. I'm sorry.
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    While yes you failed miserably on the biosecurity front, I fail to see how having different breeds or ages together is a bad thing.

    I also violated another two rules.. no new breeds (even though Buff Orps and Australorps are from the same root stock,) and the age difference was a bad thing too. The lady doesn't have a very tidy operation and raises different ages and breeds all together. I should have been aware of several danger signs! DUH.

    Somebody go tell my 12 week pullet & cockerel that they shouldn't be living with the 22 week olds, 10 month olds, and 15 month olds who all live together. I don't have more than 3 of any one breed either. Of course they are just layers, I'm not running much of a breeding operation, but still . . . almost everybody on here has several breeds that they keep. I will be the first to admit that my operation isn't "tidy" but my chickens don't seem to mind a bit!​
  5. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Bummer for your flock, but I'm glad you are accepting responsibility for the issues. I hope they are all fully recovered now and live happily ever after!

    I myself keep many different age groups together- from 8 weekers to 3 year olds and havent had any issues...yet. (but its only been 2 years)
    I guess my chickens' area would be considered tidy...if those darn chickens would just stop poopin everywhere all day and night, [​IMG] J/K Nobody is perfect, and sometimes we dont bother to do a huge cleanup before someone shows up. Even when I do straighten up, its a mess again in no time. Between the food, the poo, the scratchin, the molters, the wind, the hay I put down for their comfort that they promptly toss everywhere, the empty bags of feed piled up that need to go to the dump, and my regular life- its heck to keep things tidy.

    Hopefully your post will keep it in peoples minds how important it is to quarantine new birds. I'm glad your mistake wasnt any worse and your birds are ok. Scary thing to have happen.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Lesson learned. I wish you the best for you and your hens.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have read about not mixing ages, but that is just sometimes not really possible. Hens have raised chicks in flocks for centuries, right?

  8. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    We have ages ranging from four years to five days, tomorrow there'll be more brand new chicks and they all (excluding the cockerels when the hormones kick in) get along just fine.

    It's a closed flock sexually, but because they free range they come into contact with wild birds and wild junglefowl and wild anythings and there's not a lot we can do about that if we allow them to free range.

    We get diseases but then who doesn't, the ones that survive are presumably stronger for it.
    A disease that wiped out the whole flock would be a pain but I'd rather let them free range and take their chance with Darwinian logic than pen them up.
  9. MaryLovesChickens

    MaryLovesChickens Chirping

    Jun 9, 2010
    North Florida
    Hello Wonderful Chicken Geniuses!
    I know almost nothing about these wonderful chickens we have but I am reading, reading, reading...and after reading your posts, I am hoping you can tell me what to do.

    Here's our situation: we have an 9-chicken mixed breed flock all brought together from different homes in one day: 2 RIRs, 2 polish hens (one of them is clearly the boss of everyone at five months), 2 cochin/americauna mixes, 3 silkies. All are "approximately" 3 to 5 months old except for "Priscilla" who is our six-week old sable-colored silkie and Brunhilda, a really, feathers missing, ugly sister hen to Donatella, both of them Polish hens, who are "older but not laying" according to the woman we bought her from. None are laying yet. They have been on EMC and just now were switched to scratch and layer feed. The day we brought them home, I penned them together but separated by chicken wire in our backyard since they didn't really know each other. But that same afternoon, a couple of them "broke out" of the pen I made and then later all the others got free too (amazing how they squeezed out to be with the other stranger chickens!) well, they have been happily roaming the yard freely ever since--no problems...well, the RIRs don't really socialize with the other six, they remain aloof. That was two weeks ago. Yesterday, I find Brunhilda DEAD, inside the coop (where they all sleep at night) with poor, tiny Priscilla huddled next to her, away from the flock and her eye is slightly swollen shut with a golden crusty grossness around it. We are brokenhearted! Brunhilda was ugly and clearly had been beaten up in her previous home but we thought she was happy here. Donatella, the boss hen, was her sister and it seems Brunhilda was fine. No blood, nothing broken, she was supple (no rigor mortis). Don't know how she died. And poor Priscilla, someone really roughed her up! We just don't know who...what do we do now? She's all alone now, safely in her own HUGE screened in porch away from the others. Can I put neosporin on her little eye? I wiped it off with a warm cloth and it opened right up but this morning there was more golden, clear goop...and she looks sad to be all alone! I don't want her to be alone and I've read that they are not solitary creatures...should I put her in her own crate right in the middle of their coop, main hang out area next to the water for a few weeks? Or are they attacking her because she's sick?

    Please help! We love little Priscilla but the remaining chickens: Donatella, Mischa, Gigi, Marie Antoinette, Buffy, Lena and Lola might really hurt her or worse kill her!

    Awaiting your reply...oh and by the way, we had a entire other flock (4 roosters and three hens, easter eggers, who knew!?!?) last year, brought together from multiple, different hatchings, and not knowing anything at all then, just raised them all together with absolutely no problems, other than the big major pecking order fight, and then it was over, and everyone towed the with all hens, we thought it would be even easier to raise them...
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    you should start your own thread & give it an appropriate title so people can read and post replies....


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