How do I quarantine my new rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lifetime chicken lover, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    I have 7 hens and decided to get my girls some protection so I'm getting them a rooster.
    I know I'm supposed to quarantine him- I've read that he should be quarantined for at least a MONTH?!? But HOW do I do that? I really only have one coop and a run. My girls free range most of the day.
    So does he have to be completely separate from the girls- like in a different coop? Or can he be in a large dog kennel in the run? Can I let him out in the run while the girls are out free-ranging, or will that expose my girls to his poop when they come back in?
    I recently added 4 hens to my flock of 3 without quarantine, because I felt bad for the girls being stuck in the dog kennel, and all is well....but I felt like I would be chastised here at BYC because I've seen the golden rule of quarantine, many times. And I know I took a big risk doing that.
    Please someone help me so I don't make the wrong decision.
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    In order for the quarantine to work, he would have to be kept as far away as possible from the rest of your flock for at least 30 days. A dog kennel or some other makeshift pen would work just fine, as long as he is completely kept away from your hens. Some people keep quarantined birds in their garage or basement, is that an option for you?
  3. I agree. It might seem cruel are mean to keep them locked away in a kennel day after day for a month, but you have to protect your hens. Last year, my birds were starting to cause chaos inside their dog crates, aka: spilling food, kicking shavings around, screaming to be let out. Eventually, I got sick of it and let them out. Luckily, they were all healthy, but I do regret it. It's not safe unless the bird(s) is questing is/are taken away for that month, and people even do it for longer! But I've learned my lesson and now have better set-ups as not to come across this issue again. It's worth it. I hear so much these days about people having not quarantied their new birds and exposing their whole flock, and future generations of flocks, to some weird deadly desease.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It doesn't necessarily *have* to be a month you know; if all you can stand is 2 weeks or whatever, then that is ENORMOUSLY better than nothing at all.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I probably will only be able to stand a few weeks. The new rooster is coming today and according to the previous owner, he's the sweetest rooster she's ever met, so i might let him play with the kids downstairs for a while.
    Is it possible for me to transmit diseases from him to my hens? If I hold him, obviously I'd wash my hands afterward, but do I have to change all of my clothes too before I handle any of my hens?
  6. Quote:Quarantine is usually a term associated with making sure a seemingly healthy bird is really healthy. Obviously, you wouldn't be taking him home unless you were under the impression that he is healthy. [​IMG] So it's safe to assume he has no disease. Just treat him like you might. I brought home a few Silkies from a fair a few months ago. The breeder seemed pretty nice at first glance and cared a great deal for his birds, who looked fabulous. But about a week into quarantine, we found mites. And they were such a pain to get rid of, we thought we might have had to do the unthinkable to our new, lovely birds. But we have the issue under control, currently. Point being: even the healthiest looking bird can bring home some funky stuff. If you'd be okay taking the risk, 2 weeks is typically the bare minimum of quarantine time needed to be able to say, "I've checked and saw nothing out of the ordinary." During this time, you're looking for any weird behaviors, coughing, sniffles, mucus, odd noises, wheezing, sneezing, *scratching (that was how I noticed my birds have mites, they were just scratching all the time), etc. Handle him to see that he has no creepy crawlies or physical injury. If nothing seems wrong during the course of his isolation, than you can assume he is fine and safely integrate him into your flock.

    It is possible for things to be transmitted. But I wouldn't go crazy. I'm sorry to admit that most times, I don't even wash my hands going back from newbies to beloved flock. I'm honestly not sure how far you should go. Hopefully someone else will pitch in.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    I did this years ago, bought a grown rooster. Hawkeye was in quarantine for five weeks, in two different dog kennels, one in the bsmt bathroom and one up on the deck away from the girls. He had to be treated for lice and favus and malnutrition, but fortunately, did not have anything contagious nor was he a carrier of anything. I won't do it again since it was so stressful and quarantine may not show if your boy is a carrier, especially if he's happy at your place.

    If you can't quarantine him, I wouldn't get him.

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