Mixing chicks from different sources

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by vasher, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. vasher

    vasher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2015
    I have a batch of week old bantams now, growing fast, and was planning on getting a standard chick in the next few days so I could put them all together and they'd still be roughly the same size. I would have preferred getting them all from the same source and at the same age, but none of the local places have everything I wanted at the same time.

    Local feed store said that I shouldn't mix chicks from different places as they would give each other diseases. How great a risk is this? Otherwise, I have to commit to one store and date per chick raising season? This seems a bit restrictive. All local chicks are vaccinated for Marek's. In addition, if I can't mix them, I'd have to get at least three chicks and a separate brooder set-up to provide each other company, which is more than I intended.

    On the other hand, I'd hate for chicks die from cross-contamination.

    On the other other hand, I suspect that many of the chick batches at different local stores come from the same hatcheries.

    Any personal experience with this?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think you asked the right question, how great a risk is this. In my opinion, chicks for a major hatchery are about as safe as you can get. Their livelihood depends on their biosecurity and they take that seriously.

    When they arrive at the feed store the situation changes some. Different feed stores have different people taking care of the chicks, some more knowledgeable than others. They have different policies about how accessible they are to the public and who can handle them. If someone that has chickens at home handles them they could possibly transmit some disease to them. I consider this highly unlikely but it’s possible. I will bring feed store chicks home and mix them with my flock but I do that rarely. Usually I order straight from the hatchery or hatch my own. I do not quarantine chicks from a hatchery or from the feed store.

    If the chicks are not from a hatchery but are from someone’s private flock or especially a chicken swap your risks increase, maybe a lot from a chicken swap. I consider those sources good reasons to use quarantine. Many people go to chicken swaps all the time and hardly ever have any real problems, the worst normally being you have to treat for mites, lice, or worms. These parasites are a pain in the butt but they can be managed with treatment. It’s always possible you could bring something serious home but many people go to chicken swaps regularly and don’t have problems.
    1 person likes this.

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