Advice for flock integration

DS17

Chirping
Jun 14, 2015
122
29
96
I have 7 "big" girls plus a rooster. I have 4 "littles" that are 14 weeks old. i have part of the coop sectioned off with chicken wire where the littles have been able to go in and out of when they want, and where they can eat and sleep/roost. I have two bantum "big" girls that will go in there section to eat and roost sometimes. They have been in this set up for 7 weeks now and are out growing their space. My question is, when I remove the wire, do I still leave a separate feeder for them to attempt for feed from? They all free range during the day but it's like I have 2 flocks. I know there will be a lot of pecking, especially at night but I'm hoping at 14 weeks the littles are better suited to handle it. Any advice?
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
Are they together when free range??? If so, then they are almost integrated as well as can be. There will always be some pecking regardless. That is how pecking orders are established.. As long as there are no serious injuries taking place, all should be OK. At night there is no pecking except when first getting on the top roost places. Have extra roost levels available for those lower in pecking order.
WISHING YOU BEST
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KEEP THE EXTRA FEED STATIONS AND WATER, for a while until you see they are no longer needed.
 

DS17

Chirping
Jun 14, 2015
122
29
96
They are not together when they free range. It's like I have 2 flocks. There is a small amount of chasing the littles when they free range but it's not excessive. If the littles see the big ones coming they usually move somewhere else.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,952
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western South Dakota
This is pretty common, they will eventually become one flock, but not until the pullets begin laying. Laying seems to make them belong. Right now, I have chicks that were raised with a broody hen, right in the flock, they have never been without the flock, but once the broody hen let them go, they were a sub flock within the flock, just like what you are describing. I noticed in the last couple of weeks, they are getting redder combs, and the flock is becoming one.

I agree with the above poster, the worst is over, and I would expect them to be good now. You might check and see that they are eating, but I would not worry about it too much.

Mrs K
 
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MarcyR1011

In the Brooder
Jun 29, 2015
83
7
33
Hemlock Michigan
I just combined 2 flocks just like you... Where I had them divided where they could see each other. They established the pecking order easier than I thought. The littler ones just learn to get out of the way of the bigger ones! Good luck! :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,549
130,189
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have 7 "big" girls plus a rooster. I have 4 "littles" that are 14 weeks old. i have part of the coop sectioned off with chicken wire where the littles have been able to go in and out of when they want, and where they can eat and sleep/roost. I have two bantum "big" girls that will go in there section to eat and roost sometimes. They have been in this set up for 7 weeks now and are out growing their space. My question is, when I remove the wire, do I still leave a separate feeder for them to attempt for feed from? They all free range during the day but it's like I have 2 flocks. I know there will be a lot of pecking, especially at night but I'm hoping at 14 weeks the littles are better suited to handle it. Any advice?
Sounds like a great setup....can you post pics?

Have the littles been going in and out of their refuge to mingle with the flock in the coop?

I would leave the feed/water/roosts in the refuge area, the littles will still use them....tho the bigs will check things out over there too
Chances are the little will roost in the refuge area and the bigs will roost where they usually do.
 
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DawnKD

Chirping
Nov 10, 2015
44
9
59
Sierra Madre, CA
This is pretty common, they will eventually become one flock, but not until the pullets begin laying. Laying seems to make them belong. Right now, I have chicks that were raised with a broody hen, right in the flock, they have never been without the flock, but once the broody hen let them go, they were a sub flock within the flock, just like what you are describing. I noticed in the last couple of weeks, they are getting redder combs, and the flock is becoming one.

I agree with the above poster, the worst is over, and I would expect them to be good now. You might check and see that they are eating, but I would not worry about it too much.

Mrs K
I have one 7-month-old Welsummer that isn't laying yet and her other three flock mates are. She gets bullied by my Delaware (same age, but laying since nearly 5 months old). I've currently got the Delaware in chicken time out .... hoping that straightens her out.

So I'm curious - why/how does laying change the flock dynamic?
 

Rock Home Isle

Songster
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
2,146
225
188
Northern Frontrange of Colorado
It sounds to me like they are already merged...
hmm.png


They free-range in the same paddock, yard, pasture...together with no fencing. There is some chasing, which is normal. The little ones flock by themselves while the big girls do their thing...this is normal behavior.

The only separation is the fencing inside the coop. The little ones have one side; the big girls have the other.

Honestly...it sounds to me that for all intensive purposes...they are already merged.
 

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