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Questions about adding to my flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mac Momma, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Mac Momma

    Mac Momma Crabgrass Queen

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    Apr 27, 2008
    North Georgia
    I have a small flock of chickens, one rooster, with four hens, OOOPPPPSS! I mean one rooster with three hens and a late developing roo, who just started crowing yesterday. They are between 20 and 24 weeks. I would like to add to the flock and separate my two roos. I know that I need 8-10 hens per roo, but, I can't afford to add hens of the same age. I found 5 pullet chicks about 7 weeks old that I thought about purchasing, and quarantining for a minimum of 4 weeks, probably longer because of the size difference. My concern is Coccidosis, if these new birds have it and have recovered from it, I have read that it goes dormant and can be "reactivated" with the stress of a move and such. So, my fear is even adding to my flock! I know that many of you do this, but I have healthy birds right now! Just not enough girls for my boys. This lady said she got the chicks from McMurray. Any advice or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    If the new birds have something, typically the 30 day quarantine period will show it. That is the purpose of quarantine. Remember to practice good biosecurity and you should be fine. Care for your healthy birds first (always) and quarantine birds last. Always wash hands and use a bleach solution for your shoes before stepping in the pen. Different clothing is also recommended for the quarantine area (coveralls work well for this). The extra effort up front makes a world of difference to ensure your flock stays healthy.

    The hatchery the birds came from is really irrelevant once the birds have been started on someone elses property. The nasties are generally picked up in the environment where they live. Just thought that should be mentioned. Good luck in your search for more chickens.

    Jody
     
  3. DJF

    DJF Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I'm very new to this and I experience alot of anxiety over these very issues so I can relate to your concerns.

    My comments are from reading and research like you and very little of it is based on experience so please take anything I say with a grain of salt.

    It is my impression (still have alot more reading to do) that there are seven different coccidia species to which the chickens are hosts and must develop a resistance.

    Generally, the birds don't develop a resistance to all of them at the same time. Much of it depends on the flora that occurs in your local area.

    So, say, if your new birds have been exposed and are immune to one species or strain (I read that some species have different strains) from their old home, you expose them to a different species or strain of coccidia by virtue of your local flora being different, then they need time to build up immunity to the new species or strain.

    I think it could work the other way as well with regard to the new birds exposing your old birds.

    I think I read that density--how much space you give your chickens--plays a part in their ability to develop a good immunity without becoming clinically sick. So give your chickens as much space as you can afford.

    Be sure to give your new birds vitamins to help compensate for their stress at being moved.

    And remember to have your treatment ready just in case you need it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008

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