Starting my own new flock: What's the best way to integrate same age pullets from different sources?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Back2Roots, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering what's the best way to integrate three pairs of pullets, all from different sources, but approximately the same age? I will be buying started pullets in the spring - 3 different breeds, a pair of each, from three different breeders. I don't currently have any chickens. The coop and run is not previously used.
    Will I need to keep them in 3 separate areas for a few weeks, where they can see each other but not can't actually physically interact until they get familiar with each other, or can they all be in together at once? The coop will be 50 square feet and the run will be 430 square feet.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Jeremy128

    Jeremy128 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll take a stab at this. Im new to owning chickens but I'd imagine that the best thing to do would be to keep each pair quarantined away from each other pair for a week or two. THen when you are sure that none of the pairs have any disease/illness, put them in the same coop, but keep them seperated in a manner that allows them to see each other, but not have access to each other. Keep them in the coop like this for a week. THis way they can get used to seing each other. This also reenforces taht the coop is their new home, so thtey remember where the coop is, and that they belong there. Then you can introduce them all to each other.
    Im sure someone with much more experience than I have will speak up soon.
    Either way, you will enjoy having chickens!
     
  3. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Jeremy, for your advice - much appreciated!
    I figured that I would have to do as you said, but I am scratching my head as to how to go about it. It means, as I feared, that I will need three other temporary enclosures that can be used as quarantine areas. In addition to this I will need to figure out a way to section off the coop into three separate areas with 3 separate roosts, water and feed stations.
    [​IMG] Yikes. The coop and run is already turning into a major undertaking, so imagine how over-engineered our quarantine areas will be!
    Maybe I will be better off trying to find someone who breeds all of the breeds of chicken I am looking for in my mixed flock. Or buy hatching eggs, borrow an incubator (I know someone who has offered), and raise chicks myself. Decisions, decisions. It's a shame, actually, because I have been able to find three different people who would have started pullets available of my three choices of breed. Unfortunately, none of them have all three of the breeds I am looking for. Oh well, at least I have until next spring to make up my mind.
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In your case I think what I would do is spread the acquisition out. Start with maybe two sets of day olds brood them together. If one of the sources you found has two of your breeds that would be ideal. After they are out of the brooder get the third pair as started pullets, just out of the brooder if you can find them. Quarantine them in a temporary coop, doesn't;t have to be elaborate. At the end of the quarantine (four weeks), they all will be ten to twelve weeks still young enough the introduction should be easy.
     
  5. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Thank you! This is exactly the info I need! As it happens there is one breeder who has two of the three breeds I am looking to have as part of the flock. It is quite a distance from where I live, but it would make for a fun weekend getaway. This could work beautifully, since there are at least two breeders much closer to me that have the third breed I am looking for, so only only one long road trip necessary.
    Would a dog run work as a quarantine? I know where I can get a used one, but it's not predator proof, since it's chain link fencing. The dog house within could be made predator-resistant easily enough though.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A dog run and house can be made to work. Many use them for their coops. Just remember you need distance for a proper quarantine, as there are some airborne diseases.
     
  7. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tip! How much distance do I need for a proper quarantine to prevent airborne diseases? Would 50 feet be enough? I would like both the coop and the quarantine to be in sight from the windows at the back of the house, so if I need to locate the quarantine pen further away from the main coop, it will be out of eyesight.
     
  8. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The quarantined birds need to be downwind from the others. I think 50 ft is the average advice I have read on here. Good luck!!!!
     
  9. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks - excellent point about them needing to be downwind. Unfortunately, I can't site the quarantine pen downwind from the coop because the coop is going to be at the back of the property and the wind as a rule blows in from the front. I can, however, situate the quarantined birds at the other side of the yard, in line with the coop, and it will be a lot more than 50 feet away (more like 150). I hope that will be enough.
     
  10. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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