Hello Handsome

My flock added a new member today, a 5 month old Black Austrolorps Rooster temporarily named Handsome Stranger.

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Isn’t he a pretty boy?

I was lucky enough to know someone who knew someone else (who’s cousin’s grandfather’s nephew, not really but you get the point) who was looking for a new home for him. I currently have four Austrolorps hens who he’s already been trying to charm through the fence. But before he joins his new harem he has to go through a few weeks of solitary.

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Silly girls

When ever you bring new birds onto your property it’s a good idea to quarantine then first; even if they’re coming from a place you’ve personally  visited and inspected. A health bird may become sick very quickly, and the best way to prevent any sickness from spreading is to play keep away until your sure that their total fine. The recommended time frame is about two weeks.Besides quarantining birds coming in make sure birds coming out aren’t sick as well.  This goes especially for your own birds coming back from shows and fairs. The flocks in my area had a bad experience with this  a few years back.

During our county fair someone brought a bird infected with fowl pox to the youth poultry and rabbit show. A lot of 4-H’ers show poultry in the fair and unfortunately the sick bird passed on the fowl pox to a bunch of other flocks including ours. For weeks afterwards we got reports of birds dying in many kid’s flocks around the county. Fowl pox usually is quite painful for the birds and can be deadly if it gets inside the hens throat. We had to put several hens down, but that was nothing compared to a friend of mine who shows birds at semi-professional level. She showed about twenty birds at the fair and ended up having to put  7 different birds out of their misery, not to mention treat dozens more after it spread.

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Medium to severe case of Fowl Pox (be careful googling this, there are pictures of dissections  of diseased birds)

The moral of the story is be careful when introducing new birds or birds that have been away for a while. “Handsome” is frustrated for now being penned up, but it’s worth it knowing it will keep my flock happy health and safe.

Thanks for reading,

-Kc

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