Can I Combine my flocks now?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by savilcr, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    I have 8 young hens that will be 14 weeks old tomorrow. Are they old enough for me to take them out of their chicken tractor and combined them with the 1-2yr old birds? They are getting too big for the chicken tractor. I have a back yard that is roughly .5 of an acre and has a large coop with 10 nest boxes. Total I will have 16 back there by I’m worried the older ones might kill the younger ones or bother them the whole time. What should I do?
     
  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

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    My Coop
    You can. As to how the older ones will treat the younger ones...it wont be stress-free for any of them , never is. Expect the lowest ranking hens to be the most aggressive with the younger pullets. Ideally you would want to have them free-range near each other for a while before letting them in the coop together. Many people will put the new pullets in the coop after the older hens have roosted for the night.

    Keep a close eye on the situation for the first several days. If anyone gets an open wound then they must be removed from the flock in order to heal. I usually provide a flock block to give them something to peck at when they are confined to the coop, and an extra feeder and waterer because the hens will prevent the younger ones from gaining access to the food and water at first.

    If there are some VERY aggressive hens you can remove them from coop to "chicken jail" (a wire cage). This will make the aggressive hen drop in rank. I hope that this advice will be helpful! I wish you all the best.
     
  3. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    they have been able to see each other every day since the A frame chicken tractor is next to the other coop. we have been loosing some younger ones to a fox so im hoping this will solve the problem. the older birds have a better eye out for hawks and other predators. any other advice?
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two flocks of different aged chickens that live in 2 different coops. They all free range but they don't get along. The younger flock is the off springs from the others. I wouldn't want to put them all together . Holy cow it would be a sight to see. I guess you can try it . As mentioned I'd keep an eye on them. The older flock consist of 10 hens & 1 roo the other flock is 16 pullets. Your situation is different give it a whirl & let us know what happens. You never know. Good luck
     
  5. Helen29

    Helen29 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2011
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    I mixed mine recently and they are getting on like a house on fire, no probs what so ever, I was needlessly worried. They did see each over everyday for a couple of weeks beforehand. As long as they seem big enough to be able to stickup for themselves give it a try, just keep an eye on them.
     
  6. 4acresNachick

    4acresNachick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2011
    I also mixed my 10 week old RIRs with 4 1 yr old hens of mixed origin mostly GLW. Oddly enough no a single problem. The older ones eat first and exit and enter the coop first and the others seem to respect the pecking order. The little ones have a set of feeder/waters and the older girls have theirs. Also the older girls have taught the younger ones a lot. I did put the younger ones in after the adults had gone to roost and I gave out some distracting treats in the first few days everyone was out ranging together. A couple of different stations with some goodies like veggies or worms worked great. GOOD Luck!
     
  7. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    I put them in the coop last night after dark, they roosted fine in there but this morning they were are huddled up in the corner like they would do when they were chicks. one of the Buffs and RIR started going crazy squawking all morning. I guess we'll see. I have the feeder and the waterer in the middle of the run and a small feeder in the coop.
     
  8. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    how do I get the younger ones to leave the coop?
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:Their in a new environment correct. If so I would keep them locked up for a while so they get use to their new home. Maybe a week & then open the door a few hours before dark & let them decide if they want to go out. One will eventually go out & the others will follow.
     
  10. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    they have been in an A frame next to the large coop that is always open, the other birds have seen them and shared a feeder once a week with them.
     

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