Originally Posted by Nbeene
I am raising 20 chicks right now that are about 3 weeks old and I am try to cover all my bases for when they get older. I have 2 acres and plan to have my birds free range during the day then lock them in there pen and coop at night. My neighbor has about 6 chickens that occasionally come in my property.
My question is there a chance that my birds will follow the other chickens to there coop and eventually want to merge together?
I completely MISREAD your post, but I'll leave it anyway...someone might be able to use it.
Here is what we did...
We had two flocks. One flock was all older birds, last year's pullets, 2 year olds, 3 year olds or even Older Birds. As long as they laid eggs and were healthy they were part of the flock.
Then we had the younger flock. These were all pullet birds. After/during the molt, in December-ish, we would merge the two flocks and then select for breeders. The best chicks from the spring hatch would be kept for our new Pullet Flock and the Older Birds would all be together merged into one flock.
There will be some noticeable aggression, Breed Dependent, but once the pecking order is established...all should be fine with minimal issues.
With what you've described, Yes they can be merged. I would keep the younger birds separate from the older birds until the little ones are well feathered, then merge them. Combine them at night and when they all come out the next day...iffy, but should be OK.
If you have aggressive breeds, like Ameraucanas, in the flock then you will have issues. Ameraucanas will be aggressive to new birds, unless its a breed just as aggressive.
Edited by Rock Home Isle - 4/28/16 at 12:38pm