Getting two 9 month old hens to add to my flock....questions....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ddmiddle7, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    OK, so here is what I have going on at the moment. I have 5 three months old right now. One of my friends just got told that he has to move(wife got a new job a couple of hours away) and he will have to move into an apartment so he can't take his 6 hens with him. I told him I could take two if he couldn't find a home for all of them. Well he called yesterday and asked if I still wanted the two because he can't find anyone to take all 6.

    SO, I need to know if what I plan on doing to integrate these two hens to my flock is going to work. I have a big storage shed that I put a wall up in about 6 feet in and plan to quarantine them in that for about a month. The shed has double doors and almost no ventilation, so what I have done is, nailed one door all the way open and built a half wall with the entire top half covered in wire. I can close the door for a couple of hours if we get a really big storm.

    I know that they are all healthy as I have been to his house multiple times, but I still want to be safe. The problem is how do I get them some outside time without them coming in contact with my current flock, as they free range in my yard all day. Should I just keep them locked up in the shed for the entire month? I have a dog kennel that is 6x8 that I plan on using for part of my run eventually. Should I put this in front of the shed and only allow the two new hens in there? How do I keep my other girls from going around the cage if I do this? Should I confine my five girls to the dog cage while these girls are in quarantine? I might be able to temporarily block of an area behind my shed for the new girls, but this still brings me to the fact that my 5 girls free range and can still get access to them this way through the fence. I really want these two new hens but I am working with limited space...since I only live about 5 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.

    Sorry if this is a bit confusing. I just want to make sure all the bases are covered so I don't get my new girls sick or hurt from the new, older chicks.

    Thanks for any help and advice.

    Dereck
     
  2. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Can't give you an answer as I'm new to chickens, but am curious to know what the "procedure is for quarantine" is too! Hoping you get answers!
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, this might seem against the grain a bit, but if you've observed them and can observe them some more, over the next week before the move, I'd have a lot less worry about their health and well being than some chickens from a complete stranger. I assume your friend lives nearby, same soil, climate? I assume you've seen the hens with some regularity? I assume your friend would be open and completely honest about any health issues as well.

    I wouldn't fret this nearly as much as I would birds I knew nothing about.
     
  4. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi-since you've seen his flock and they look perfectly healthy, and you've seen this over time, then it is highly unlikely that you'll get much benefit from a quarantine. Birds coming from swaps and shows are another story, since they've been exposed to many new birds. But, since these have been in a closed flock if they're healthy now, they will probably remain so. Be aware that many chickens look perfectly healthy but are carriers. I once brought a very healthy hen into my flock and all got a respiratory disease but her. The reverse could happen and your hens could get the new ones sick. Also, chickens can look very healthy but have parasites. Do a thorough inspection of their vents and under feathers for lice. Also, they could bring mites. Those you'll see at night with a flashlight inspection of the roost. When cleaning their area, I'd throw out the manure to break any cycle of parasites. Don't add to the compost. I'd keep them apart for a week.

    What will be difficult is to integrate the hens. I have a FAQ about that here http://www.hencam.com/henblog/introducing-new-hens/
     
  5. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright that is kind of what I was thinking... Yeah we work together and I know he wouldn't lie about their health as we talk on a daily basis about our chickens to each other. I know I would have heard something by now. He is where I get my eggs from currently until mine start laying. So I can keep them apart for a week or so fairly easily. I can keep my girls in the dog pen for the week and the new ones on the back side of my shed where my current flock can't get to them. Then as long as everything looks ok I will start letting them free range the yard together for a couple of weeks or until they get used to each other. Then I will put them in the coop with the rest of the girls at night.
    I think I will go ahead and gets some of the dust just in case they have mites or lice or something. What kind should I buy and where do I get it from. We live about 20 minutes apart on opposite ends of the city so I don't think it should be a traumatic transport for them.

    Thanks for the help....anyone else with any tips or ideas feel free to let me know...
     
  6. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I got the two new girls in there today here are the temporary diggs I set up for them.... and pictures of the girls too, of course.

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  7. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    Lucky hens!
     
  8. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think I should provide a ramp for the BO to get to the roost when I integrate then with my flock? She seems much thicker or heavier rather, then the other hens?
     
  9. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    Can you provide roosts of several heights? I have that - it's like a ladder at an angle (see it on the inside cam at www.HenCam.com) The hens do have preferences for heights, and the buff does need to step up. She'd never get a foot off the ground without that ladder!
     
  10. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Indianapolis, IN
    Well, I guess their temporary home suits them....we just got our first egg and we have only had them for a little over three and a half hours. It was from the BO, since my friend told me the PR already laid this morning...its so cool, my son was thrilled (almost as thrilled as me LOL)... here ya go:
    [​IMG]
     

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