Quarantining new chickens help


In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2021
Hi there! New chicken mom here. We have five 10 week old chickens, and have decided to add three more, around the same age, as a neighbor wanted to give a few away. We knew we needed to keep them apart at first, but didn't realize that we needed to keep them completely separate, and so we put them in a dog crate inside the run with separate food and water for a few hours before I learned that I should have them completely separated. I've now moved them to the garage, away from my flock, but am wondering what to do about the exposure that has already happened.

1. There is a bunch of poop from the new chickens in the run now, I can try to clean it up first, but should I not allow access to that part of the run now for awhile even after cleanup?
2. Is the damage already done and I could end up with sick chickens? What common things should I watch for at this point in now the new and old flocks?
3. The new chickens' poop is more black and tarry than my chickens, so I'm already concerned that there is something unusual going on with these new birds.
4. How long do you suggest quarantining? I'm seeing 2-4 weeks, a week at the least, but if these chickens look healthy after a bit, what's the likelihood of disease in such young chickens?
I quarantine for 6 weeks when bringing in new birds. And I am serious about it - I change shoes between areas and change clothes after handling. Lol! Might be overdoing it, but better safe than sorry.

I agree with @rosemarythyme (as I often do!). Chances are, everything will be fine, but be on the lookout for anything troubling.

As far as the different-looking poop, it could be related to what they ate before you got them or just getting used to the feed you use.
She probably needs to know what to expect if a disease presents itself in the older flock because quarantine was done wrong.
Probably the most obvious things to check for are external - mites, lice. Overall body condition (and the poops) could be related to how they were raised or their diet, but if they have good feather condition, bright eyes, and are active and eating and drinking well, then chances are they're pretty healthy.

Good news is generally young birds are less likely to be vectors for disease. Assuming the neighbor you got them purchased them from a reputable seller, has a clean and healthy set up, and didn't have a lot of other birds coming and going, odds are favorable that they aren't carrying anything unusual.
If they are from a nabouring property especially if very close then although quarantine should be observed the likely hood is that already being close would mean thay are in all liklihood exposed to the same things . The difference in poop colour my be down to the type or brand of feed they wre eating. Keep an eye out see how they do and at any sign of illness get or ask for help. But dont stress too much yourself! They will pick up on it and moving they will be stressed anyway wich will affect them slightly and you will start seeing things that are normal as an issue
I would not worry about it. To truly quarantine if very difficult for most backyard people, and while you can have a wreck, and people have had wrecks, a lot of us have gotten by just fine.

There is quite a difference from accepting a few very young birds from a neighboring flock, and getting birds from an auction. A bird at an auction has been exposed to who knows what. Birds from a neighbor, being raised in a backyard, probably really hasn't been exposed to any more threats than your own birds.

I would not worry about this at all, healthy looks healthy. Do not EVER take something you feel sorry for, but if the chicks are active, eating and bright eyed, I would go with that.

Mrs K
Thanks all! The neighbor wasn't so close that my chickens would be exposed already, it was a neighborhood over, but they got their chickens from Tractor Supply and kept them in their yard. My biggest concern with their past home was that they were in a coop that was too small, a much less ideal coop than the big coop and run we have waiting for them. I'll be checking for mites, for sure, with the tight quarters they were in before, but I'm thinking I got them out and into a better situation before too much harm could happen to them. The previous owners didn't know much about chickens, and didn't seem to do their research, but as far as I know they weren't around other birds besides their own flock after they got them.

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