Inroducing New Hens To A Flock Need Advise ASAP please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 27strong, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. 27strong

    27strong Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok first of all i searched in all categories and I seriously think this is an appropriate category. My first time. Ok on to the issue. My current flock has 25 young hens i raised from scratch. No roosters. Hens were purchased early Summer of 2011. 2 Days ago I discovered 2 wild hens and i rescued them. Currently they are Isolated. Regarding the 2 hens so far.
    1. I don't know how old they are. When I discovered them they were laying eggs and sleeping in a bush. There are definitely strays.
    2. They seem to be together for a long time because they behave together never leave each other.
    3. Our community has flocks right and left. I don't know if they were abandoned or got separated.
    4. They seem to be healthy. No diseases found or any sings of wrong. No deformation on body. Feathers are in tact.
    5. They are eating and drinking normally. Just a little stressed from their life in nature.

    Here is my dilemma:

    People talk about chicken quarantine but I found these 2 hens like couple houses away. So are they really that different in immunization factors? I am pretty sure they belong to another flock. Ok next thing is in 14 days I am going away for a week and I am currently keeping the 2 hens in a small box separated far far away from the other 25. I am afraid that if i leave them there when I come back they will be swimming in piles of their own crap. (When I am there I clean it often myself and I cant rely on others) I want to integrate them but I don't know if they are healthy. Because those two are grown hens that need to be grazing and I can't just keep them locked up.I usually let them graze with my supervision. I can't rely on my family because they don't know how to return them back into sleeping area like I do after grazing. Here are my possible ideas:

    My chicken coop is big surrounded by grazing area. What i want to do is put the two hens in an isolated area within the chicken coop so that they will be next to the other but isolated from them. That way my family can feed them and i wont have to worry about previously mentioned issue. Or if an expert on these issue replies and lets me know that hens i rescued are healthy then i could proceed from there. By the time someone reads this the hens stayed with me for 2 and a half days. The point is I want them in the coup or near the coup because I found them a couple houses away. They were in the same neighbor hood and really close to my house.

    Sorry no pictures I will work on that later. They are light brownish hens with big combs. They were once in a pack since they do seem to recognize human care. They are definitely separated from whatever they belong two. I am sure of it. No I didn't steal them. I went back at night and found them sleeping under the bush. Sorry people my parents loved me in the first 5 years of my life so I can't let this hens go because i have means to provide for them. Even if someone let them go because they are too old...still...death in nature is harsh. I would rather have them die of old age in my care.
    So thank you. I await your reply. I have 14 days until D-day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    We can't tell you they are healthy. They could be carrying something with no symptoms. Even a proper quarantine of a month is no guarantee, it only reduces the chances. Actually, after the month, it is sometimes recommended to then put one from the present flock in with the newbies for at least a couple more weeks to see if that exposure reveals any disease.

    There is also the problem of the present flock not accepting the new ones. A careful way to handle this is have them next to each other for a month or so, separated by a fence, so they get used to the sight and sound of each other. I have also read where people have simply added a strange chicken or two to a flock with no quarantine and no introduction period, without a problem. And some people would make Sunday dinner out of them rather than take a chance. So it's up to you.

    I'll give you a couple of links, in case you want to read further:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12751
     
  3. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    I have kept chickens for over 50 years. I have never quarantined a new bird. I have never had a resulting problem. Make of that what you will.
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would be careful with the new ones. You don't wanna loose your whole flock . I would quarantine as mentioned. If you can I'd get someone to clean the cage while your away. I have a bird in a cage right now who was pecked on & I'm letting her grow her feathers back. The cage gets pretty messy real fast. Its not healthy for them to live in such conditions. Thats the problem when you sign up to have them. You are responsible for their care.
    I'm going out of town as well only for two nights but I have someone that will check on my birds. I would feel awful if I came back & the birds were sick or dead.
     
  5. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have absolutely no advice, but I wanted to say welcome.[​IMG]:

    I think its awesome you picked up and cared for these two strays. I have 2 cants who came to me that way. They seem more appreciative than the ones that came from another home or a pet shop, I guess because they understand how good they have it.
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    I would add into the flock at night. My old hens never fully accepted the new ones. They always pecked the new ones.Each groupd hung out together and roosted together.

    For disease who knows.I added a roo after just a week or 2,and 2 hens got all snotty a few days later.Thankfully they recovered.The roo was never sick.You always take a risk adding into the group. If you can wait do so.If you can not wait then keep some meds on hand just in case.Best wishes!
     
  7. 27strong

    27strong Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2011
    ok thank you everybody. I will take it from here.
     

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