New chick! How long do I need to quarantine? When should I start taming?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lightchick, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

    4,538
    244
    266
    Apr 3, 2014
    Minnesota
    I got a new 12 weeks old Brahma mix today! I can't quarantine much over 3 weeks.....is that bad? I might be able to quarantine longer.....
    Is there anything I can do to help her get used to me and her new surroundings?
    I'm giving her ACV in her water. I might give her sugar water tomorrow.
    I really need her tame before she gets to be with my other girls, but today was not a good time because she was so stressed already. She sometimes pecks and hisses at me because she's so scared. At least I'm hoping that's the reason and she not mean.
    She also doesn't want to walk around much. I'm pretty sure that it's just stress and stuff.
    She came from a farm where all the chicks weren't handle much and so she thinks that we're great big monsters.
    I know that when I got a parakeet a long time ago I would go, sit by his cage, watch and talk to him......is that a good idea to do with my new girl? I checked on her (it's night time) and she was asleep. She didn't even wake up when I turned the light on. I think that she's very tired from her stressful day. What should I do to help?!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  2. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

    6,426
    1,409
    336
    Jun 9, 2011
    Indiana
    My Coop
    Well, 3 weeks is the very, very, absolute minimum length for a proper quarantine. I prefer longer, but 3 weeks can work. Keep an eye on her for any and all symptoms and make a post at the Emergencies / Diseases forum if you think there might be something wrong with her. They can try to help you identify any illness and advise you on what to do.

    I wrote a Quarantine article you can read through for some more tips: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens


    As far as winning her over, that can be tricky to do with a bird that hasn't been handled much. Try sitting by her cage as you described so that she can get used to your presence, but also try giving her treats by hand. As they say, the fastest way to a chicken's heart is through her stomach! She might be hesitant to take treats from your hand at first, so you can try tossing treats nearby and see how close she is willing to come to you. The most important thing to remember is to try not to move too fast. You can actually do more harm if you try to move too fast, especially if she feels cornered and panics.


    She is probably stressed, especially being separated from the birds she grew up with and moved to a strange place. Keep a close eye on her, as under these conditions she could start to show symptoms of disease if she's carrying anything. Hopefully, though, she'll perk up in a few days, once she's used to her surroundings. Giving her a vitamin / electrolyte supplement in her water might do her some good. I'm not sure how effective sugar water is for older chicks, but if nothing else, it could be worth a shot.


    She's such a pretty bird! Hope everything turns out fine with her! :fl
     
  3. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    9
    111
    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN
    I know a lot of people go nuts about quarantining a new bird. However, unless the bird seems iffy, I do not quarantine at all. I also never buy birds from random strangers though. I will give them, along with the flock, treats to help them feel more comfortable and get them eating together right away. I personally do not see any reason to make a huge fuss about it though. If the new bird(s) see your other birds taking food from your hand, they will more than likely try it too. I don't know about other chickens, but all of my babies will melt in my hands if I hold them and put my fingers up under their neck feathers and gently massage their neck and shoulders. One of my Roos will even sit in my lap and lay out flat like a dog when I start massaging his neck. They LOVE it haha. Don't stress about it too much. Chickens are a lot tougher than we anxious "parents" give them credit for lol
     
  4. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

    4,538
    244
    266
    Apr 3, 2014
    Minnesota
    Thanks so much for all the help everyone! I really appreciate it![​IMG]
     
  5. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

    6,426
    1,409
    336
    Jun 9, 2011
    Indiana
    My Coop

    People 'go nuts' about quarantining new birds because new birds could be diseased--and there are a lot of diseases for poultry that leave the birds as asymptomatic carriers who can pass on diseases to any other poultry they come into contact with. A lot of people don't realize that chickens do not get colds, and they may pass diseased birds on unknowingly. Even going to a swap, fair, or feed store can risk bringing home disease on your clothes or shoes. The reason you should quarantine any bird you bring in is because you don't know how biosecure their previous owner was--even if they are a trusted source! If they don't take it seriously, if they treat before diagnosing, if they wear the same clothes from the feed store around their flock, they may have diseased birds.

    I think it's a disservice to downplay the importance of quarantining. Some of the most reliable farms I've heard of, as a matter of fact, recommend quarantining even if they are sure their birds are disease-free. It's just good practice. If you want to take risks with your birds, go for it, but don't make it seem like an overreaction when someone wants to take steps to make sure their flock is safe.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    9
    111
    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN


    I definitely understand WHY when it comes to quarantine. I am not trying to make it seem like an overreaction. However, like you said, you really just never know and there are many instances where birds can be asymptomatic carriers- something a quarantine will do nothing for. Where I live all of my neighbors have flocks too. In such a close proximity, anything from their flock could get to mine. I could worry myself sick over all the diseases a chicken can get or carry. I practice good habits by using "chicken clothes", etc. just in my personal situation if a bird has no symptoms, I do not see what good a quarantine would do.
    How do you recognize a carrier who has no symptoms?
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

    4,538
    244
    266
    Apr 3, 2014
    Minnesota
    She's much more relaxed today! She's a really sweet girl too! She let me spray on poultry protector and didn't even freak out whereas my other chickens that are really friendly would have. She lets me pet her and she eats out of my hand. I don't like that thought of her being stuck in my garage where there's not much light coming in or anything so I'm going to take her outside on a harness later. I'm taking her where my chickens never go at all so don't worry. It's not possible for me to change my clothes every time I see her because I see her A LOT.
     
  8. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    9
    111
    May 6, 2013
    White Bluff, TN

    OMG a chicken harness? :lol: Precious. I will have to look that up lol
     
  9. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

    4,538
    244
    266
    Apr 3, 2014
    Minnesota
    Yeah, you can use cat harnesses for chickens. I just need to get the harness. I feel bad that she's stuck in a dim garage while it's such a beautiful day and she could be scratching around. I was planning on taking my other chickens for walks and I have one harness that works for them.
    I don't have my other chicken used to the harness yet. I wonder if I could put her in a cage that I could put outside.....
     
  10. pipdzipdnreadytogo

    pipdzipdnreadytogo Dorking Queen Premium Member

    6,426
    1,409
    336
    Jun 9, 2011
    Indiana
    My Coop

    Ah, I may have read more into your post than was actually there. Sorry for the misunderstanding! :)

    To answer your question, which is one I get a lot, there is really only one sure-fire 100% way of knowing and that is to have the birds tested. However, since that is not a luxury that many of us have available, there are other ways of quarantining to be sure your birds are safe.

    The stress of the move is usually enough that the birds will start to show symptoms if there are any to show. That's why the bare minimum length I would recommend for quarantine is 3 weeks. Unfortunately, sometimes, the move isn't enough for symptoms to start showing up in a bird. That is why I also recommend that one bird from your established flock be moved into quarantine, preferably your least favorite bird or one that you wouldn't be too upset to lose. This is your first exposure bird. If after a week or two, that bird starts showing symptoms, you know there is a carrier in quarantine. It also serves the purpose of exposing the new bird to anything your flock may have, and gives the quarantine bird some company if they are alone.

    This, of course, is difficult to do for some, especially those who only have a small flock, and so some choose to go with just the standard 4 week quarantine. I like to be sure and go with that initial exposure, which is why I like to keep some roosters around even if they have no chance of ever being in my main flock. But, of course, how you quarantine should be what you are comfortable with doing.





    Glad to hear she's perking up! When I had a bird quarantined where I couldn't easily change clothing without tracking across the house to start with, I kept some disinfecting wipes in the quarantine zone and wiped my clothes, hair, hands, and feet off with one before leaving the quarantine. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by