whats the best way to do this?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mogli, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Mogli

    Mogli Chillin' With My Peeps

    i was thinking about adding 3 more chickens to my flock of 5 hens that i have now but ive heard people on the site say u gota quarintine ur new birds for at least a month but what if u wanna buy pullets do u gota quarintine them too? or can u just throw,em in with with ur original flock? will older hens get along with new pullets if u bring a few home or will the hens tear into the pullets? does it matter how old the pullets are? do pullets carry deasies too or no plus can pullets eat layer mash feed like my hen
  2. Bryceeast

    Bryceeast Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 11, 2010
    Chicken Run
    You dont need to keep them seperate except for when they sleap durring the day you need to let them mix or they will not mix well later on!
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is possible for chickens to carry diseases. You really don't know if they have something that will infect your flock or not. People add new chickens to their flock all the time. Sometimes they quarantine and sometimes they don't. Sometimes their flock gets sick and sometimes they don't.

    To quarantine means to keep the new chickens separate from your old chickens where they do not share the same ground or share the same air. Some diseases are transmitted through the air and some when they eat each others droppings. Quarantine also means you don't wear the same clothes (especially shoes) when you go from one flock to the other and you don't use the same water or feed bucket to feed both. A lot of people are not this strict when they do quarantine. The more strict you are the more effective your quarantine.

    It is possible for a flock to have a disease in it that the chickens are immune to but they will still give that disease to other chickens. I think coccidiosis is a good example of that. Your hens may have it or the new pullets may have it. You can keep them quarantined forever and never know they have it. Just a straight quarantine is not going to do you any good for this. That's why I suggest if you quarantine you try putting one chicken in your current flock that you like the least in with them to see if it gets sick. That way you are only putting one of your chickens at risk.

    If the pullets have been in a flock for a month or more that has not had any contact with other new chickens, they have already been quarantined. If they have not been exposed to anything lately and have not come down with it yet, they probably won't come down with anything during quarantine. There are some problems with this approach. The previous owner may be lying to you. Maybe the previous owner did not recognize a disease when he saw it. He's not lying, he just did not recognize the disease. Maybe a wild bird visited his flock and infected them. Or maybe the pullets caught a disease during transportation. What I am trying to say in all this is that you may not have a huge risk if disease if you trust where they are coming from. That is your call.

    If the chickens come from where they have been exposed to other chickens in the last month, they are a greater risk. A good example is if they came froma chicken swap. In this case, I definitely think quarantine is well worth it.

    If the new pullets are laying age, they can eat Layer. If they are not laying age yet, it is best not to feed them Layer because the extra calcium can damage a growing chicks skeleton or kidneys. The way I get around this is to feed Grower too everybody with oyster shell offered free choice on the side.

    I'm not sure how old the pullets are that you plan to get. The younger they are, the higher the risk to them when you try to mix them. Really young chicks are really at risk. How it goes when you try to mix them will depend on a lot of different things, mainly their age, the personality of your hens, and how much space they have. It may go so smooth that you never knew there was a problem of they may try to kill the younger ones. Without knowing your set-up, some things I'd suggest are to house them side by side at least a week where they can see each other but not get at each other. Give them as much space as you can so the younger ones can get away if the older ones take after them. Set up different eating and drinking stations so the older ones cannot keep the young ones away from the food and water. They can be pretty big bullies about that. When you let them try to spend the night together, make sure you open the pop door as soon as they wake up so the young ones are not trapped in a tight place with the older ones when they first wake up.

    I don't know how this will go for you. People do it all the time. Usually it is successful but there is certainly some risk and probably some excitement. Good luck!
  5. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
  6. Mogli

    Mogli Chillin' With My Peeps

    thank u flockmaster and thank u everyone else [​IMG]

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