Blending two flocks

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by Maplemaam, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Maplemaam

    Maplemaam Out Of The Brooder

    17
    6
    22
    Mar 12, 2016
    Geauga County, Ohio
    So...I'm moving along on this chicken adventure, after starting with 6 chicks in March. Those lovely ladies (golden sex links) are laying lovely brown eggs daily and have adjusted to their schedule of coop overnight, run during most of the day, and free-ranging for a couple of hours before bedtime. I have a second group of 6 that are 8 weeks younger; they are still spending the night in a large brooder and spending most of the day in a large tractor near the run. About a week ago we began letting them free-range with the older hens with relative peace. One of the older hens seems to be the self-appointed guardian, keeping the young ones in line. Occasionally an older hen will chase and lightly peck at one of the younger ones (usually one of the Easter Eggers or one of the Rhode Island Reds). The chase lasts only a second or two; none of the young ones has "stood up" to the older hens yet.

    My question is this - when can I move the younger ones into the coop overnight with relative safety? Or, is some fighting inevitable, no matter how long I do this shared free-range routine? I'm just hoping to minimize injuries, and probably being a worry wart.

    What ideas do any of you have??

    Thanks for your expertise and experience info!!
     
  2. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    It sounds like they are getting along pretty good. Try setting the young ones in the coup at night after everyone has gone to bed. They should wake up to very little drama. There will be pecking order but it sounds like you are off to a good start. Little ones wise up fast when they get pecked on the head a few times.
     
  3. Maplemaam

    Maplemaam Out Of The Brooder

    17
    6
    22
    Mar 12, 2016
    Geauga County, Ohio
    Thank you for the advice. I will probably attempt a trial run soon. Most likely I'll sit outside the coop for awhile to listen for anything that sounds overly concerning. I guess there's no way to really know until I do it. Actually that's how this whole chicken thing has been...trust that something will happen and then just hold my breath and do it. So far, so good...
     
  4. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    I usually put a docile hen with the younger ones for a few days before putting them in the coup with the rest. She gets them use to the younger ones and since she is out of her place she is not going to be aggressive. They will have at least one chicken that isn't too aggressive with them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by