need info on breeding do's & dont's

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mindylee, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. mindylee

    mindylee Songster

    Nov 28, 2012
    Lapeer Michigan
    I keep seeing min info on breeders all over this site.

    As a newbie with a beginning breeding coop full of birds.
    What is the do' s and dont's of outside birds and y?
    Why from hatching eggs or chicks?
    What could happen if you buy an adult bird and iterduce it too coop?
    Beginners wrongs.

    I ask as I do have a coop full of birds. Well bred and from many different breeders. Some bought from eggs or chicks and adults. I do sell to locals and have a lot of pride in my program but dont want to harm what I have. I plan on adding in spring to my numbers and only want whats best. Not to harm or accidentally kill what I have.


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I think your question is “What are the medical risks of introducing chickens to your flock?”

    People do it all the time but like doing anything in life there are risks. Just like bringing home a new puppy or a new goldfish or shaking hands with someone, there is the chance you could be introducing a disease. One thing you worry about is that a chicken may have been exposed to other chickens lately and has become infected but maybe doesn’t show the symptoms yet. The other is that a flock of chickens can develop immunities to certain things, Coccidiosis being one easy example but there are plenty of others. Since they are immune they won’t show symptoms but can infect other chickens that are not immune. It’s possible your flock is the one with an immunity and they can infect incoming birds.

    There are very few diseases that can be transmitted by hatching eggs, pullorum the only one I’m aware of but there might be others. If you get your eggs from an NPIP source, the flock has been tested for pullorum so your chances of introducing pullorum to your flock from hatching eggs is really slim.

    Baby chicks can transmit diseases just like adults but major hatcheries take biosecurity really seriously. If word gets out that they are selling sick chicks, they’d be out of business. You may hear of a problem with one of the major hatcheries over a course of a few years, but that’s rare. I consider chicks from a major hatchery about as safe a way as there is to add to your flock. But if you are getting baby chicks from someone else, I don’t know how biosecure those chicks are. I’d treat them like adults.

    One way to minimize your risk is quarantine any new chickens. Disease can be transmitted many ways, from eating each other’s poop, sharing drinking water, or even through the air. The better you isolate them the better the quarantine. That includes not wearing the same shoes when you feed the separate flocks or using the same buckets to carry feed. Normally a 30 day quarantine period is recommended. This should show anything they have recently been exposed to and the stress of the move may weaken their immune system enough that even some of the things they are immune to show signs. This doesn’t cover all the things they might immune to but it does help a bunch.

    To check on what flock immunities might be involved, either the new birds or your existing flock, I suggest you select a “sacrificial” bird from your flock and house it with the new birds in quarantine. That’s an added step to check for immunity issues.

    I hope that’s what you meant.
  3. mindylee

    mindylee Songster

    Nov 28, 2012
    Lapeer Michigan
    That's very interesting and helpful info.

    I do have a quarantine pen that all birds go through before being added to my coop. They also go through a series of treatments too to make sure they are healthy like being dusted and medicated for any potential issues that I may not see or hear.

    I also buy eggs from well known and quality breeders too. I fig if I breed, I buy the best I can and even tho its expensive, in the long run I know I'm buying quality were breeders take great pride in their flocks and not just any ole thing to make a $.

    I will be adding to my coop in the spring BUT only by buying eggs. Only adding a few more colors of bantam cochins and getting into silkies. After that, no more buying and only focusing on my own crop and keeping my own hatching's.

    I breed miniature equine (horses) and its the same rule of thumb there too.

    So as a newbie, I think I'm doing pretty good for learning on my own. I'm not certified nor most likely will be, but have and do buy certified stock. I'm thinking in my case, common sense is there unlike some others who breed for profit only. I have made a few mistakes along my road of birds, and learn from them. Unfortently lost nice birds along the way, but that's what learning is all about.

    Is there any suggestions on where I can learn more about this like books or videos? Or pages on this site to read more?

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

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