Blending two flocks

Maplemaam

Chirping
Mar 12, 2016
17
8
52
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!!
 
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.
 

Maplemaam

Chirping
Mar 12, 2016
17
8
52
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...
 

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