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How can I get my chickens to equally utilize my space?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My situation is that I have two 12x12 coops with a 12x24 pen between the coops. I have six hens and my rooster using one of the coops and I've got 40 month old chicks in the other coop. Per advice here I intend to integrate my flock in another month when the chicks are two months old.

 

I would like to get all 47 birds to equally use the two coops. That would make roosting and nesting areas better utilized. However, as the 40 chicks are being raised together and fenced off from the seven (7) older (one year old) chickens ... I wouldn't guess that they would voluntarily start using the less crowded coop.

 

Because I don't believe I can keep the chickens out of my garden I plan to leave them in the coops/run ... they will have access to both coops and I would guess they will become acquainted with the other coop.

 

I could probably trap them in the other coop and in a few days perhaps they would begin to roost with the older birds.

 

Or I could just let nature take it course ... but both coops have four nesting boxes ... it would be better if they used all 8 nesting boxes instead of 40 pullets trying to use four nesting boxes.

 

Could I get some advice? 

post #2 of 4
I would let it just play out and see what happens, only stepping in if the more crowded coop has any troubles, are they all hens, or is there another rooster. I think eventually you will see mingling but it might not be until they are older than 6 months, I would open the fence between them when the young ones are 2-3 months old, putting them back on their own side for a bit at night. I have a similar set up without the fencing, my bigger hens will sometimes go into the bantam coop to lay their eggs and dig around in their run, but young ones are mostly left alone except for an occasional peck by an older bird to move a young one off.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 4

 Two flocks with access to 2 coops will mean a lot of visiting and mixing. I tried for a long time to evenly split them up and found I was spending more time shuffling chickens than any other task in their care.Then I figured out the answer to the problem Let them figure it out. Unless I'm trying to breed specific birds I don't care where they sleep. I gather all the eggs every days and have found it really doesn't matter which coop they lay in. If one coop is too crowded the lower pecking order girls will move to the other coop. The girls will settle in pretty quick the roo's may take awhile but usually will figure it out. I had three roo's with 40-45 girls and father and son took one coop and the other roo took the other.

If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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post #4 of 4

@perrypogue   Do you have plans for the male chicks?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

I would let it just play out and see what happens, only stepping in if the more crowded coop has any troubles, are they all hens, or is there another rooster. I think eventually you will see mingling but it might not be until they are older than 6 months, I would open the fence between them when the young ones are 2-3 months old, putting them back on their own side for a bit at night. I have a similar set up without the fencing, my bigger hens will sometimes go into the bantam coop to lay their eggs and dig around in their run, but young ones are mostly left alone except for an occasional peck by an older bird to move a young one off.

Good advice^^^^

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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