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quarantine

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cactus-hen, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Everyone talks about keeping new birds away from the existing flock but nobody says how far away. I will be integrating two flocks this spring. I am moving to Ca. and combining my flock with my brothers. Neither flock have any illnesses. How far away from the home flock should the new flock be housed? The home flock free ranges on about an acre. There is an old sheep pen that I can put the new flock in during the quarantine period. It is about 50 feet from the coop. The home flock range on the other side of the coop on the grass, but have access to the area around the sheep pen. Is the quarantine issue one of not introducing unknown birds to yours or is it a case of chickens having different immunities because they are raised in different areas?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't kow where you are moving from or how you are moving your chickens. The only reason I would even consider quarantine in your case is that your chickens might be exposed to something during the move, which they could then pass on to your brothers flock. Quarantine does nothing to show which diseases either flock has that they are immune to. It only shows diseases or parasites that the birds have picked up in the very recent past. Chickens picked up at a chicken swap are a good example of ones that may have recently been exposed. Other than recent exposure, both flocks have in effect been in quarantine for a lot longer than one month.

    Different diseases are spread by different means, so different methods of isolation are required to prevent infection. Some are air born, so keeping them to where a breeze could blow dander from one flock to another would not be an effective isolation. Some are transmitted by shared drinking water or food, or direct body contact, so a wire fence between the two would provide a fair amount of protection from certain diseases, although not complete.

    Complete quarantine entails completely separate facilities where there is no exchange of air, completely separate feeding and watering arrangements so you don't transmit something by the equipment, and changing or disinfecting clothing (especially shoes) when you go from one group to the other. The more of these you violate, the less effective your quarantine.

    What you do is your decision and depends on your and your brother's risk tolerance. If it were me, I'd probably keep your birds isolated in the pen for a month or so, realizing that it only gives limited protection.
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I would say this is more the reason for quarentine......at least for me. Your's can look perfectly healthy as can his, but yet each flock could be carriers of something that the other hasn't had exposure to.
     
  4. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Tucson, AZ and my brother lives south of Sacramento, CA. I will be crating the chickens and driving 13 hours to get from here to there. My flock will be confined to the pen but the home flock can wander over to that pen. There is no way to keep the home flock from checking out the newbies.
     
  5. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your flock has no known issues and his flock has not known issues and you will not be exposing yourself or your flock to any others in the process I really cant see the upside to a quaruntine. Many if not most would do it, I likely would not. It is of course a possiblity that the shipped flock can come down with something as a result of the shippping stress, but if both flocks are on the same grounds and fed by the same person seems there will be transfer anyway. I think a true quaruntine would need to have two different people feeding them two quite different sites.

    I simply cannot tell you what to do, but know that if it were to me I would integrate them in a way that allows them to get used to each other but in terms of health issues I would not separate for that.

    One more time it is just how I would do it. If separating them is one's choice then by all means do that.
     
  6. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. The coop they will be in is an 8x12 building. At present is is separated in two areas. One area is the coop and the other is junk storage. Eventually I plan to remove the wire between the two areas and build roosts and nest boxes. If/when medical quarantine is over I plan to put the new flock on the "junk" side so they can see, smell and hear each other but not be able to reach each other. When they become acclimatized I will remove the wire between the two areas. They will have their own roosts and nest boxes so I hope there won't be too much upheaval.
     
  7. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Soundsl like a good plan
     

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