2 Flocks combined

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ConcreteWaves, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2016
    Delta, CO
    So im super new to keeping my own backyard microflock, but I have a grasp on the basics. I'm confused a bit though and maybe yall can help me out. :D

    So after my coop/run was built, I got 5 chickens, 4 hens, 1 rooster. They are only 6-7 weeks old (so cockeral/pullets).
    Then the next couple days, we got 4 hens off craigslist and they are pullets (had them sexed), but older bout 11-13 weeks old. Much bigger but you can tell not full size yet.

    So the reason for this post is lets put it plain and simply: the 4 older hens are complete a-holes to the younger flock of australorps that I got. When they see them feeding, they mob over to the food bowl and peck them away from it, same with water. Sometimes, they just go out of their way to be bullies and peck on the younger flock for no reason.

    Today after work I checked the plumage on the little guys to see if they're being "over-abused" by the older flock, and all the australorps are fine, but the 1 silver pencil I got with the young flock of australorps is starting to look tattered a bit, you can tell they're punkin' on him. So I go in there and punk on the older ones and scare them into a corner so the little ones can eat.

    What I notice if it means anything:

    The young flock are more submissive, still scared if I make startle movements, but they will come to me and let me pick them up and even pet them.
    The older flock hates me, and they kinda hiss at me, and squawk like and always run away. And again, a-holes to the younger flock.

    So heres what I think, and tell me if I'm on the right track:

    1. I haven't given it enough time, I integrated the younger ones into the coop, then 2 days later added the 4 older ones, and it's been a total of about a week with chickens. Maybe the little guys are scared and the older ones are just gonna take some getting used to the new flock and coop.
    2. They came from different homes. I got the younger flock from a breeder. I got the older ones from craigslist.
    3. The older ones got pulled away from their flock rooster, cuz I already had one, and the guy offered me it for free but I refused because I knew one of the younger australorps will be a rooster and I'm shooting for 1:8 ratio, so maybe their angry?
    4. Without a rooster to assume alpha position, I'm reading now about alpha hens - perhaps the older ones are trying to establish dominance?
    5. If all this is true - and it's just going to take time, will my rooster australorp grow up and pimp smack all the hoes regardless of age?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

  2. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Ribera New Mexico
    It will take time and the older ones are quite a bit older. Almost twice their age. You should have place them in a fenced off area for a couple of days so everyone could get used to each other then let them mingle. I have 8 weeks old chicks in with year old and a rooster however I have a small coop inside the main coop to let them get used to each other before mingling them and there has not been a fight yet. The rooster has been a prefect gentlemen with the babies. Just give them some time, but watch so no one get hurt.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    All your birds are young and new to the territory. It's normal for older ones to peck at younger ones, and it's normal for chickens to go after other chickens they don't know, it's just the nature of the chicken. At this point I would see it out. It can take weeks to months to successfully integrate birds and your two groups will always remain as two separate groups mostly. A week isn't very long in the scheme of integrating so give them more time, make sure the young ones can escape, and set up multiple feeding and watering stations.
  4. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2016
    Delta, CO
    Makes alot of sense, I feel like an idiot for just putting them in there. Now that you say that tho, yea, they are like double the age I should've integrated them better, maybe seperated my run into 2 zones.

    Since they've been together for 3 days, should I reverse the process and seperate the run?
    Or since it doesn't seem to be horrible abuse, just bullying, maybe leave them as they are since I already when and messed that one up, and let time sort this one out?
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    One thing you can do is make sure you have enough feeders and waterers. Have several so the older ones can't keep the younger ones from eating or drinking.

  6. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2016
    Delta, CO
    Awesome. Yes, tomorrow I will go to tractor co. and buy some more. Today, Like I said, I went in there and easily scared the older ones to the corner, and the young flock ran to the food and water and ate/drank. I waited about 10-15 minutes, so I'm sure they'll be fine til i'm off tomorrow, unless the older ones aren't letting them eat AT ALL, but there is also feed on the floors thats fallen out of my hands and what not, they'll be fine for the night and day. Thanks so much for the advice and quick responses everyone.

    Anymore feedback is always welcome.
  7. ConcreteWaves

    ConcreteWaves In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2016
    Delta, CO
    So i didnt make it to the store today but i did scatter food on the floor and feeder so they youngsters have a chance at eating. Also temperment, i rlly think its just gonna take some time like yall said, i already see signs that, this might work itself all out just fine.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Definitely make sure there are multiple water dishes around, just use shallow dishes if you can't get real waterers.

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