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Author Topic: Importance of quarantine  (Read 16578 times)

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Casey76

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Importance of quarantine
« on: September 20, 2009, 12:38 »
It has made me so sad over the past few days to hear of peoples frustrations with sick birds, to the point of wanting to give up before they have barely begun.

I fully understand the addictiveness of hen-keeping, especially in the beginning.  You plan for 3, in a week or two you decide you want a couple/few more... please, please before you go out and buy more consider if you have the facilities and space for quarantine.

New hens should be quarantined from your existing flock for at least two weeks.  They will need a separate pen and house, either within your exisiting run, or in a separate run all together.

One of the main risks of bringing in new birds is bringing in new disease.  Coccidiosis is a latent disease.  Once your birds have had it (and it is possible that they may catch it and not necessarily show symptoms) they have it for life and become carriers.  Now although people talk about coccidiosis often, they do not often say that there are many, many "strains" of coccidiosis, and though your birds may have immunity to one strain this does not mean they have immunity to all strains, so the likelihood of your birds coming down with cocci upon rapid introduction of new birds may be quite high.

Mycoplasma is another disease which is very readily transferrable between birds.  It is responsible for a lot of the runny noses and bubbly eyes you see with a "cold."

Hens are very prone to being "stressed", moving from one place to another, being shut in a box, maybe a car journey etc are huge stressors and therefore for a few days or even weeks your new hens may appear, quiet, withdrawn, depressed, show little interest in food or water. 

During this time I would keep a very basic diet, so layers pellets or mash (for POL or older hens) with a vitamin tonic in the water, but no "treats."  If your chooks are realy not eating mashed up hardboiled eggs mixed with a little tinned beef or fish catfood will often go down well.

It is during this period of stress that any latent diseases may flare up and cause problems, which is why it is so important that the new birds be separated from the exisiting flock.

If you do not have the space for a quarantine, have you thought about what you would do if one of your birds gets sick or injured and needs to be separated from the main flock anyway?

While you have two separate flocks, you should ensure hygeine control.  i.e. disinfect hands, change clothes and shoes before going from one flock to another... yes it is hard work and time consuming maintaining a proper quarantine, but we are trying to maintain the health of your birds!

This is not meant to "get at" anyone, but there seem to be a lot of new hen-friends one the board at the moment, so I just thought I'd mention this to try and avoid the frustrations and sadness we have seen over the past couple of weeks.

Katrina


Aunt Sally

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 12:54 »
Many thanks for this excellent advise Katrina !

I have made it into a sticky for now and will add it to our "Useful topics"" sticky in due course :D
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karlooben

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 19:44 »
i have a quantine pen within my main run as its the only place i can put it and its already been used an was a great help but looks like i may be re using it from tomorw but need to really really jeyes out the isolation house first as i have 1 girl mainly whos gone very skinny an goes quiet then picks up then goes quiet personally i do think shes a very old girl but to make sure she gets the wormer an maybe some tylan she'll go in there with another girl who looks a bit skinny .

p;s they will all be wormed next week before i get bombarded with they all need worming  :lol: :lol: dogs will be done horses will be done ouchhhhhhhh expensive week next week but who cares .
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Nails

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 19:08 »
This has been really useful info, i wished this had been on here before i started losing my babies. But it has all been taken on board now. Thank you Casey
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North Devon Dumpling

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 19:12 »
A hypothetical question really.  If you buy from a supplier who vaccinates would you still need to quarantine (good practice to do it anyway, but just wondered).


kitkat

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 19:51 »
Yes , you should always quarantine birds even if vaccinated.
    Just to say i think original birds should always be seen to first, when opening up of a morning and feeding etc, then see to new ones.
   From another Katrina in France :tongue2:
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Caralou

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 20:01 »
I can only say that this is excellent advice.

I always quarantine for 4 weeks but only have one quarantine coop and run. This has just proved itself a life saver as a Poland I got from the local poultry dealer had a symptomless illness that passed to two other chicks I got a week later time and had put in together, they both passed within a week but the Poland only became symptomatic after they died.

I wish I had, had the facilities to have kept the chicks and her seperate from the other girls and then perhaps they too would have been saved, but i do not have space for more than one quantine hutch. BUT, by quarantine I have at least saved all the others from getting ill - it would have been a big loss to me of 8 full grown, 6 home reared chicks and possibly the 2 ducks had I not had them seperated.

In future I will not bring in more new birds from more than one place at the same time and will continue quarantining for 4 weeks. Please listen to Katrina and other experienced chicken keepers advice, it really will save lives.

newatthis

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 20:04 »
hi, this may be a silly question but with a quarantine run, how big and can it be in the same area as the main run ie   i have a run thats 12 ft by 18 ft, so i could put to 1 side so to speak, 4ft wide by 12ft long?, with their own 4ft x 4ft house..
zoe pattinson :)

Caralou

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 20:14 »
I have mine in a totally seperate part of the garden. The girls have the main garden which is fenced from my patio. I then have the isolation coop and run on the patio. That way I know there will be no sneeze crossing etc and I wash hand between handling of the hens in the garden and the hens in the coop. It was also useful when I had an eggbound girl to isolate her in there. Just also remember to fully disenfect the isolation coop after each use as bugs linger.

karlooben

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2009, 19:10 »
my quantine run is within the main run that is 10 m by 6 m an the quantine pen is about 2 m by 2m . if the bird is poorly the last thing it would want to do is be running around .

ema.whte

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2009, 14:01 »
Superb advice I've never even considered having a quarantine coop and run. It hasn't occurred to me what I would do in case my chickens got sick or one would be injured. Again thanks for this post.

Emma

hillfooter

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 12:35 »
The quarantine run can be a lot smaller and of a temporary nature.  I use a small triangular ark of the sort you can buy quite cheaply on ebay which is roughly a 0.8m sided triangular cross section and 1m long.   These aren't very viable as perminent houses but are cheap and light weight to move about and useful as broody coops and quarentine quarters or even for young growers as a first house.

For a run I've made 1.8m X 0.9m mesh panels using trellis baton which is 38 X19 mm section.  Use one bracing 0.9m baton in the centre of the panel and small 45 deg triangular corner fillets to hold it together and keep it rigid.  I fixed it with a panel pin gun and then screwed it together drilling pilot holes first as the baton splits easily.  

I've made 4 of these panels and they can quickly be arranged in a tent like extension to the ark.  A couple of 70mm square section bearers about 1m long with 60deg slots cut in them keep the panels in place along the bottom of the triangle.  A 90cm isosceles triangular panel forms the end of the run.  Hold the whole thing together using bungee ropes (as used on luggage racks), and you have a cheap, simple quick to errect and easy to stow temporary run which can be extended in 1.8m lengths. One tweek is to cut the slots in the bottom bearers so that one panel can be hingled to an upright position for access.

A sheltered roof can easily be made with a thick piece of polythene (a scrap bit of damp proof course membrane is ideal) 1.8m X.9m over the ark pophole entrance held down with bungees completes the setup and provides a place to keep the feeder dry.

Site it on a concrete base close to the house is ideal.

It's not fox proof but as a temporary home for a couple of weeks it's very useful.

Merry Christmas
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« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 13:01 by hillfooter »
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Foxy

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 14:48 »
I have a trio in quarantine right now. A trio of bantams in a 4X4 raised shed with windows and a tiny bit of heat to help reduce stress, although I even know who the grandparents of these birds, it is still crucial to keep separate for at least 2 weeks.
When it comes to feeding/checks etc., they are done last so I dont inadvertantly cross contaminate my existing stock.

Bonniebean

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 17:13 »
Can I ask your opinions on using a raised two part rabbit hutch as a quarantine area if I need it. I am not talking about getting new birds, just for incase one of them gets poorly. I have one that was given to me for rescuing hedgehogs but now I have a hedgehog house and wondered if this would be suitable. It is just in the garden at the moment but I thought I might enclose it in my plastic greenhouse which is going to a semi shaded area where nothing much grows in the ground.

Sarah Mitchell

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Re: Importance of quarantine
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 12:44 »
Hi Bonnie

I've used rabbit hutches before for sick birds or broodies sitting on eggs - should be fine for a short period of time. 

Sarah
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