Can you add a second coop to a yard for the existing flock to use?

chicklet77

Hatching
6 Years
Aug 8, 2013
4
0
7
I have 12 adult chickens currently 2 roosters and 4 or 5 of the hens are bantams of some sort. I let a broody hatch a clutch of eggs and now have 4 more chicks( sex unknown at this point) my coop is definitely getting cramped. I want to build another coop in the yard, and will the chickens naturally separate themselves or will I have to force it. And if force is necessary what is the best way to do it. The yard I keep them fenced in is very large probably 1/4 of an acre....any thoughts or suggestions? My current coop could possibly be added on to, but my husband custom built it on top of an old unused cement water trough so the design would be difficult. I attached a pic of the current house.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
Premium member
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,563
14,776
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Oregon
My Coop
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What are your goals with this - are you wanting to maintain two separate flocks for breeding purposes so you know who is mating with who or are you just wanting to be sure that everyone has enough space but aren't too concerned with who goes into or stays in one group/coop or the other?
 

chicklet77

Hatching
6 Years
Aug 8, 2013
4
0
7
I am not looking to separate the flock for breeding purposes, not yet anyway. I am looking to add a few more pure bred chickens and may want to separate those eventually, but for now I would like to see them all co exist in the same yard but I am concerned with the housing space. The roost currently hold most of the chickens and 1 rooster but some birds sleep under the roost in the coop. I dont't have room in the coop for another roost bar either. I just want to make sure they all have room to be comfortable. With the new babies and if I add some more new chicks they will be packed into the one small coop....any thoughts?
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,364
27,112
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On the MN prairie.
I am not looking to separate the flock for breeding purposes, not yet anyway. I am looking to add a few more pure bred chickens and may want to separate those eventually, but for now I would like to see them all co exist in the same yard but I am concerned with the housing space. The roost currently hold most of the chickens and 1 rooster but some birds sleep under the roost in the coop. I dont't have room in the coop for another roost bar either. I just want to make sure they all have room to be comfortable. With the new babies and if I add some more new chicks they will be packed into the one small coop....any thoughts?
I have two coops. If I want to separate, I do have to force the issue. I have never had flocks separate themselves - at least not into different coops. They have slept in the same coop, but broke off into their separate groups when outside to free range. When I move them, I keep them locked in the coop/run for a week to recalibrate them. Some will try to go back to the old coop, some will stay where they belong.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
It would be easier to build your new coop and move everyone over you can. You can put a temporary fence around the old coop to keep the ones there you want to stay there. They will need to be "trapped" behind that fence for a couple of weeks or so.

Then you will have to go out every night and move chickens to the new coop who are sitting there next to the fence trying to get into their old coop. You will have to cover the top with netting too or they will fly over to get to their old home.

That is how I do it anyway.

They may move back to the old coop as bobbi-j said, but from my experience most will stay at the new coop.
 

maggiemo

Songster
7 Years
Sep 1, 2012
829
94
171
Front Range Colorado
I have three coops.
One big one, most everyone sleeps in. One medium that I can quarantine birds in or introduce started pullets in. The medium one is sometimes used by the lowest of the pecking order to sleep in too. I shut it if I have need it for pullets and the birds who have been used to sleeping there just go to the main coop and there isn't ever an issue.
My third coop is very small and I just use it for broodies to brood and raise their babies for a week or two away from the flock.
I have "pullet shut doors" on the large and medium and the small one is completely fenced.
Right now I have about 22 birds and 20 chicks in the garage I will move this weekend to the medium coop to introduce them to the flock.
 

fiddlebanshee

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
937
40
158
Frederick, MD
i have two coops (three, actually, but one is not in use atm) that share one big free roam area of about an acre. I also have two distinct groups of chickens. One was my original flock that I added onto the next year. the other is a new flock that was raised together last year. The two flocks stay separate and go their own ways, and go back to the coop that they are accustomed to sleep in every night. I have never seen the two flocks mix (I wouldn't mind, but they just don't.)

So my experience is that they will stick together if they were raised together or held together for a period of time and they have formed one cohesive flock. I would imagine that it would be difficult to have a group like that spontaneously split themselves up. I think they would rather squeeze in a tight space in the coop than be separated from their flockmates.

An easier way would be perhaps just to make the exisitng coop larger? Move one wall out and extend the other two?
 
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