How to quarantine new flock members?


May 14, 2015
Felton DE
I really want to add some red cuckoo orpingtons and lavender orpingtons to my current from of 11 hens. I know you have to quarantine new members but how does one do this if you only have 1 coop?


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
You don’t. You find a way to provide facilities away from the flock.

Diseases can spread by physical contact, sharing food and water containers, you can track it in on your shoes, certain insets like mosquitoes or grubs, and even over the air. How well your quarantine is depends on how well you isolate them. Some do a lot better job than others.

samantha LW

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2015
I really want to add some red cuckoo orpingtons and lavender orpingtons to my current from of 11 hens. I know you have to quarantine new members but how does one do this if you only have 1 coop?
I quarantine mine in dog crates (the wire kind) in a horse stall WAY away from my coop. It is a lot of cleaning because they are in such a confined area but worth it to not risk my existing flock. I leave a pair of rain boots outside the stall for use with them only and take care of my existing flock first.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
So i would just be better off raising baby chicks again this spring huh
Yep, but you'll still have to integrate the new birds into the flock...which is best/more easily accomplished with additional but adjacent space.

My notes below contain integration and quarantine info:

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

Integration of new chickens into flock.

Consider medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
Poultry Biosecurity
BYC 'medical quarantine' search

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading:

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