This is a topic that is discussed a lot with new chin owners.
The consensus is that all chins who are coming into a
new home should be quarantined for 4 to 6 weeks, in a totally separate area of
the house. During this time, there should be NO cross-contamination. Hands must
be washed and clothes should be changed when going between cages.
Nothing that touches chins or touches where chins have
touched should be shared between the existing and the new chins.
One of the reasons for quarantine is to make sure that
the new chin does not bring an illness to the existing chins. However, this is
not the only reason.
Every herd, no matter how big or
small, carries its own bacteria. This bacteria is harmless to chins within that
herd. When you bring in a chin from a different herd, the two different bacteria
could clash. For this reason, even if you know the chins are definitely healthy
and even if they come with health certificate, the chins should be quarantined.
This way the new chin will slowly pick up the bacteria from your home rather
than hitting it full on, and the bacteria it came with will slowly be replaced.