Is this safe?

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,387
29,509
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
We just brought home two new NH Reds to eventually integrate with the two we have left from our original flock of five. Are they safe like this for tonight?

Also, how long do we need to keep them separated and what are we watching for?
What happened to your other 3 birds from your original flock of 5? Just curious... The usual reason for quarantining birds is if the new birds have been exposed to anything your existing flock has not, and vice versa. Usually most quarantine periods would be for a month. I would put your new birds in with your current 2 birds. If it was a bigger flock probably not. Chances are they will be ok. They will establish a new pecking order so watch for any aggression towards the new birds. Good luck...
 

Agsgranik

Chirping
Jul 29, 2020
41
70
86
San Antonio, TX
What happened to your other 3 birds from your original flock of 5? Just curious... The usual reason for quarantining birds is if the new birds have been exposed to anything your existing flock has not, and vice versa. Usually most quarantine periods would be for a month. I would put your new birds in with your current 2 birds. If it was a bigger flock probably not. Chances are they will be ok. They will establish a new pecking order so watch for any aggression towards the new birds. Good luck...
Our rooster disappeared about a month ago. All was fine in the morning and I saw him with the flock in the early afternoon, and dinner time he was gone. Not even a feather to be seen.

About two weeks later one of the hens didn’t go in to the cook at sundown and got locked out. I somehow failed to do a headcount that night, which I usually do. She got attacked by something at 2am. I saw it run away but didn’t see what it was. She didn’t survive.

Then a few days ago another hen disappeared, just like the roo.

They free range during the day on two acres. Much of it is wooded, the area around the house has lots of places to hide, under tables, on the deck, in the run. Happy chickens, for the most part.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,387
29,509
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Likely a fox. If you have a game camera put it up and then you will see what is lurking. I don't free range anymore due to losses in the past. I built nice large covered pens for my birds but I have a lot of birds. I also put electric wires around my coops and pens. My land is mostly open pasture. There are trees behind us, but for the most part our land is open. I did plant trees years ago in all of the pens. The predator will be back now that it has scored. They usually lurk looking for an opportunity when you least expect it and you may not see them. Good luck...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,686
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SW Michigan
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It just looks to me to be too close for biosecurity,
Indeed it is.
@Agsgranik read this:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article

but yes leave them in the crate for a few days to get used to each other.
Might take more that a few days.

Here's some tips about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
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.

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

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,387
29,509
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Maybe a couple of times over the years I got a new bird and did immediately put it in with others, but I usually quarantine the birds. I have a coop and pen that is away from the other birds so they usually go in it. You can see some of the other coops in the background.
IMG_20180519_123658.jpg
 
Aug 19, 2020
1,202
4,325
431
Victoria, Australia
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My Coop
So, assuming I move the crate away from the run (how far?), are they ok in that small space for a month? Can they sleep in the small kennels for that time? During the four weeks what am I watching for?
As far as you can or about 30.5 meters (100 feet) away from each other. They will probably want to sleep together so personally I would build (or buy) a more suitable space for sleeping (2 square meters about 6.5 square feet) with a roost 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inches). You may have old wood lying around, or have access to scrap wood. It is worth the investment as you will most likely use it again along your chicken keeping journey.
 

Agsgranik

Chirping
Jul 29, 2020
41
70
86
San Antonio, TX
Indeed it is.
@Agsgranik read this:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article


Might take more that a few days.

Here's some tips about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
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.

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

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
How can I tell when they’re ready to be together? They all seem very calm and the old girls seem interested in the new girls but not bothered.
 

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