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Planning future flock

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Hello everyone! 

We started out with a flock of 4 bantams nearly three years ago. In April we lost our first one to a range of diseases. Yesterday we lost a second due to a tumour. 

As we never know the future and don't want one to end up all by herself we are now contemplating the future of our flock. 

The biggest problem is that we had a salmonella infection run through the flock that according to our vet is chronic and could flare up at any time (and caused a lot of health issue for the one that passed in April). So just buying some POL hens to introduce seems a bad idea while we still have any originals. We've had too many problems managing it to want to risk infecting new flock members. 

We are considering rescue chickens as they should be vaccinated against salmonella (?). The question is whether that will definitely protect them from the infection? Also wondering whether our little bantams would be ok with two big rescue chickens? And in addition, let's say our originals pass on hopefully far in the future, might it then be safe to introduce POL bantams? 

If our plan isn't a bad one, the issue of quarantining with only one run is going to be the next interesting part... 

I didn't expect this all to be so complicated 😂 any opinions or suggestions would be very appreciated!! :) 

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The Dogmother knows these things.  If the two you have left are bantams, I wouldn’t go for rescues.  They are very feisty and best kept with hens of a similar size.  Yes, they are vaccinated, but so so are many hybrids.  These are often produced in big flocks which makes vaccination economic.  They are then sent on to smaller providers and sold to the public.  Pure breeds are often raised in small quantities by back yard or small specialist producers.  In these circumstances, vaccination isn’t economic.    I’m surprised your flock succumbed to salmonella.  Did the vet identify the source of the infection? 

Edited by Patricia W
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Thanks so much for your replies, that's really useful already!! :) very good to know I can look at hybrids in general as vaccinated birds!

Vet suggested that either one of them already had it when we got them as POL, or that they contracted it from wild birds when free ranging around the garden 🤷‍♀️ 


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If they are immunised against salmonella, it will be for the human variety (Edwina Curry's idea). I know there are at least 4 varieties that are chicken specific (we've been tested for them), so it must have been one of those in your flock. Whether immunisation for the human variety also protects against the chicken varieties I don't know?

I am anti-immunisations as they are really only necessary for large numbers of chickens kept in poor conditions. They weaken the birds and can flare up in times of stress, particularly when they are moved, and result in their death. You were extremely unlucky Meriah and probably won't be again. I think whatever to buy it would be unwise to mix them with your remaining bantams.

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That's very interesting, it didn't actually occur to me that there might be different varieties of salmonella, and that vaccinated birds might not necessarily be protected from the variety ours have. 

That does make it more complicated. I wouldn't mind just waiting out these two eventually passing on before getting more hens, I just worry about one being by herself for a long time. 

Something to contemplate for sure! As if hen keeping wasn't difficult enough at times 😂

Thanks very much though!! 

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