How do you handle biosecurity?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PitterPatterPalace, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. I am wondering how you (directed at everybody) handles bringing in a new chicken(s)?

    What are your biosecurity measures?
    How separated are the newbies from the established flock? Just wire separated between them or __ amount of feet away?
    Do you change clothes between caring for the two groups?
    If, after __ days of quarantine, how do you integrate?
    I assume 30 days of quarantine, but what if new group falls ill or gets treatment? Is it 30 days after treatment?

    This doesn't have to be the "recommended" biosecurity recommendations for new chickens. I have read through here about that.

    I'm wondering about how you (y'all ) do it at your place.
  2. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

    May 15, 2010
    cant speak for all and may get corrected but we brooded our new arrivals in the shed seperate but yet too close to assume complete quarantine from all airbornes etc. but we went through the motions anyways...we then at 4weeks moved the pullets into a divided section within the main coop so the big girls could see but not hurt the the time we let the newbies interact the big girls had already accepted them so there was some posturing for pecking order but no real bullying etc...
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I start working on biosecurity the moment the chicks arrive....the first step is to not vaccinate. The second is to NOT feed medicated feeds or any meds of any kind. The third step is to get them out on the soil as quickly as possible. I let a broody hen brood them instead of using a light.

    I supplement their water with unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and then I let nature do the rest. I free range all day, all year round.

    This insures my flock have strong immune systems built from the ground up.

    Then I avoid adding strange birds to my flock. I've done so on three separate occasions and probably won't anymore...the first was fine, no quarantine used and the bird was healthy.

    The second group came to me looking like rag dolls...the owner said their feathers were a result of rooster action. Also said they were laying every day and even showed me some eggs....which I now know were planted in the nests. No quarantine used. The chickens were pooping bloody, yellow stools and they never did look glossy and fully feathered like the rest of my flock. I culled them after a couple of months.

    The third group were given to me...also rag doll feathers but otherwise seemed quite healthy upon inspection. No quarantine. My flock got leg mites from those gals~ which were taken care of using natural means, no recurrence.

    I've not had any illnesses in my flock...even with the second group's symptoms of flock either have had it or didn't get it.

    My whole biosecurity revolves around developing good immune systems that will maintain a healthy flock despite environmental pathogens.
  4. I really feel like we'd be able to quarantine in the garage or front yard. I know some people still have new animals right next to the established flock.
    Not sure how we feel about that.
    I am happy to hear how others introduce the new ones.

    Any other's protocols?
  5. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Quote:Well that about sums it up [​IMG] I do take extra care to not introduce ill birds to my flock, but I believe also the first step is letting them naturally build immunity by getting them in the dirt to start with. No sqeaky clean chickens here! We NEVER bathe any of them...washes off the good cooties [​IMG]
  6. MakNugget

    MakNugget Songster

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    The new flock goes in a separate short term coop setup that has 4 ft of clearance all around. It is then enclosed in 10 mil poly containment field from top to bottom, and have a negative air filtration set up so that the only air escaping the containment is through a series of box filters as well as a liquid filtration system.

    I start my chicken maintenance there, where I put on a Tyvek suit and forced air respirator, cap and latex gloves. I always start with the new chickens, and NEVER go back the same day for the reasons to follow.

    Before I exit the containment, I have a water mister to wet down my body for 60 seconds. The suit and accessories come off and into the bin to be burned. I go outside and hose the rest of me down really well, drenching the clothes. Water is really important to make sure to keep things like dust from going airborne.

    From there I enter my garage that I retrofitted into a clean room. The space is cordoned off in a series of modular compartments and air tight hatches. The first area all clothes are removed and thrown into the incinerator. Once the first hatch is closed, you enter the first shower corridor, which has a series of two vertical tubes on either side of the walkway designed to spray every nook and cranny, followed by a brief blower to rid excess liquid.

    Next is the scrub station. Everything gets scrubbed with hot water and soap. Fingers, hands, arms etc etc. You really get into a routine to make sure you don't forget something. The active ingredient in the anti bacterial soap is changed every two weeks to avoid building up resistant bacteria. The brushes are disposed of, and the soap is changed out once a week.

    After a quick rinse, i put on my goggles while the UV booth powers up and I stand with my arms outstretched, turning my body a quarter turn every 30 seconds. It's like a stand up tanning bed but designed to kill bacteria through a series of pulses. After two full turns, a 4 minute session, my body is warm and dry.

    Next is the final shower corridor. The jets are stronger (almost carwash strong) and is treated with quaternary disinfectants to get what may have been missed earlier. Not my favorite. Short wind tunnel (hair is kept buzzed so it dries instantly) and the cycle is complete. I toss the goggles and exit the last pod.

    I change into chicken clothes from there to have my regular girls poop on me. I know it sounds a little over kill but after reading the disease thread for months I just couldn't risk it, you know? You can never be too safe!

    (the above statement is a work of fiction, except for my girls and poop, and short hair)
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:Great philosophy for raising chickens.
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    I have never introduced adult birds to my flock. I hatch my own eggs or order chicks from a hatchery to blend in genetics I want and they stay in the brooder for 4 weeks or more before using the introduction cage. I have been given adult birds unwanted by their owners----they went to freezer camp straight away from the transport cage to the abattoir.
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think it really depends on a few things.

    It depends where you get them. If you know the people well, if you have examined their flock, and set up, and you see that they all appear healthy, and the ones you are getting are healthy. I don't think you have to worry about introducing them directly into your flock.

    But you do have to consider what are you risking? If you lose your hens due to a sickness, and are going to be deeply depressed by that. If you have been building a certain breed, with special characteristics or have $50.00 birds in your flock, that a loss is going to cost you. Then you should be much, much more careful. I would highly recommend the 30 day quarantine if a loss is not acceptable for either reason.

    Also, if you are getting diseased, sick, badly beat up birds (why anyone would get this kind of bird, is beyond me) those birds I would not integrate untill they were totally recovered, and that would probably take longer than the 30 days.

    However, if you just have a few birds, do not have an extensive setup, where you can have two or more separate flocks, and want to add a couple more healthy hens, and you have healthy hens of your own, I do not think it is necessary to do the thirty day quarantine. It is kind of like sending your kids to school. They get exposed to things, but have the immune system to survive it.

    Bio security is important to understand, and definitely applicable is certain circumstances, but for my flock and I suspect many other flocks, not worth the expense of the second run and coop.

  10. ga_goat

    ga_goat Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Lowndes County Ga
    full grown ones , after 1 or 2 days in a large brooder , and a real good visual inspection and a dusting are just dumped into the chicken yard . Pullets and young ones go into a seperate pen 50 ft from yhe 'normal' pens and kept seperate for a week .
    been doing it this way for years with no problems except once when my wife took 4 from someone who just showed up at the house with them and offered them for free , she just dumped them in the pen and I got mites and fleas for a while .

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