Quarantine Questions


6 Years
Sep 11, 2013
I'm thinking of adding some pullets (just about to start laying) to my flock. I understand they should be quarantined for 30 days. I have a couple of questions regarding this:

Do the same space requirements/minimums (2 square feet per bird) apply even if they're only going to be in there for 30 days? I have to purchase something to use for quarantine and was hoping to get away with buying the cheap small chicken hutch and run available at TSC to use for quarantine, but it's not very big (8 square feet).

Does your answer to the above change if one of the new birds is a cockerel rather than a pullet?

My flock (which is only 3 hens right now) free ranges during the day. I assume they should not be allowed to free range anywhere near the quarantine pen, is this correct?

If the above is correct and since my birds have free run of the whole yard (ie we don't have any fences), I'm thinking of putting quarantine in my garage so I can still allow my birds to free range. Does this sound like an okay idea?

First - Congrats on taking this important step to protect your flock!

Yes, you want to keep your birds completely separate for the whole 30 days. You also want to be careful about your movements during this time. Nothing (NOTHING) goes from the new birds to the old birds - not even you. I did 2 quarantines this Summer and it was really tough at first to rearrange my whole routine so that I finished up everything I wanted to do with the 'old' flock before going to the 'new' one.

If the new birds are not yet full grown, you might be able to get away with a smaller space. But watch them closely for signs of crowding & stress. Using indoor space, like the garage, is a very good idea. Would you be able to set up a chicken wire extension of the run if necessary? In my flock, the birds only use the coop for egg laying and roosting and spend all their time in the run. So it's more important to me that they have PLENTY of run room.
Speckledhen has some really good articles on quarantining and flock additions.
Good luck and congrats on your flock additions.

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