Need to replace two of my five chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wbarley, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. wbarley

    wbarley Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 24, 2013
    I just discovered that two of my five 3 month old chickens are roosters so I need to make some choices..

    I could:

    A) get two new baby chicks and raise them tell they are old enough to join the remaining 3. Does anyone know how long I would need to raise the new chicks before I could introduce them to the original ladies?

    B) My local feed store can sell me two 6 month old ladies for 25 dollars a piece and then I could introduce the new older ladies to my exiting ladies. Anyone see a problem with this option?

    C) Ideally I would love to trade my two roosters for two hens of the same age and if possible breed. I live in San Diego. One is a buhf brama (spelling) and the other is a bahrd rock. They are spoiled and beautiful 3 month old roosters. Will post pictures if requested.

    My daughters love option A, but my wife would prefer the other two options. Anyone have an opinion on what I should do? Any other options, etc?

  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    [​IMG] Ok I'll try to help. I would say get hens that are at the point of laying. Just don't get them from the feed store. They are probably riping you off. Then again I have no idea if it's sq or not. Look on craigslist. I usually can find a healthy hatchery quality hen that just started laying for $12. Just be sure to quarantine first.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  3. wbarley

    wbarley Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 24, 2013
    Thanks for the info. Will look on Craigslist. How long do a quarantine? Do I quarantine so they get along or is it for disease control? Thanks?
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Quarantine for AT LEAST 30 days (for disease control- don't want your other chickens getting sick bc of newbies). After quarantine, I usually separate the new birds off in the coop with hardware clothe, or a dog crate- whatever you have available- for a week or two. This way they can get to know each other without the opportunity to fight. I agree $25 sounds like a rip. I saw an ad on Craigslist the other day where someone was giving an entire flock of chickens away for free bc they'd decided chickens weren't for them...
    Good luck!
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Quarantine is for disease prevention, and is very difficult to do correctly, and it needs to be done for a full month. If you can't do it correctly, you might as well not do it at all.
    • You need to have a separate place for the new birds, far enough away from the old birds that dander can't blow in the breeze from one coop to the other.
    • You have to have separate feed and water pans, and never mix them.
    • When you feed chickens. ALWAYS go to the old hens first, then the new hens. Never take dishes from the new hens to a common food source--it's best to have a separate food source.
    • After you've been to the new birds, you must totally change your clothes, shower, and disinfect your shoes before you go to the new birds. You also don't want to walk around your house in the clothes you were wearing to work with the new birds, so no potential disease gets spread around your home, to be transmitted to the old birds at a later time. Some of the worst diseases spread by dander. TSC sells a product called TekTrol that is a good shoe disinfectant.
    • One of the best ways to do quarantine is to put a (potentially) sacrificial hen in with the new birds. Then you can see if she comes down with anything.
    • Always realize that your hens might be the infected ones, and might make the new birds sick. Our hens, because they get to go outside, can pick up disease from wild birds. They might be asymptomatic carriers.

    What might work better for you is to be very suspicious when you go look at new birds. Look at their housing, and how it smells. Take a very close look at the birds before you decide to bring them home. Take a good hard look at the other birds this person owns. If it makes you nervous in the slightest, then don't buy those birds. If the place doesnt' seem right, run your car through a car wash on the way home. Change your clothes and throw them in the washer, disinfect your shoes, and have a shower before you go near your own birds again. A bit of prevention is worth a whole bunch of quarantine.

    Then, when you bring home birds from a place that looks OK, give them a nice deworming (some of them take care of both internal and external parasites) and put them in a pen where they can see the older birds for a week or so, but not interact. About an inch from the fence would do it. Then when you let them out, make sure all the hens have plenty of room so they can get away from each other. Most chicken fights aren't serious, as long as the one that's being picked-on can get away.

    Oh, and $12-$15 is the going rate for a young hatchery quality hen on Craigslist. You should be able to get aged hens (age 2+) for $5-$7. Meyer hatchery here in Ohio sells started pullets at 18 wks old for just over $8/each, but the shipping is a killer. If you can come pick them up, it's a bargain. Any hatcheries within a drive of you? You wouldnt' have to worry about disease nearly so much.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013

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