Combining Flocks for Winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Blue, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dad helped me build a new coop and run over the summer, and it's finally finished except for adding the nest boxes. The coop is roughly 7 ft. x 16 ft., divided in the middle, giving each flock about a 8 ft. x 7ft. area of space in its respective half of the coop. The run, on the other hand, is not divided and is roughly 50 ft. x 50 ft. I had planned on separating the run to keep breeds apart for breeding in the spring if necessary, but leaving it one big run otherwise. Now, here's the deal:

    I first placed a flock of 10-week-old standard cochins and wyandottes in this coop and run. There are 12 in all: 6 pullets, 6 cockerels. I plan on getting rid of 3 or 4 of the cockerels, but will be keeping at least 2, 1 wyandotte and 1 cochin. They had the whole run to themselves until this past weekend when we completed the other half of the coop. I have since added another flock (about 20-weeks-old) which includes 9 pullets (7 brabanters, 1 barred rock, and 1 old English game bantam) and 2 cockerels (1 brabanter and 1 old English game bantam).

    I was originally planning to only keep the brabanter and bantam rooster with the hens in that run/coop and putting the cochin and wyandotte roosters into a bachelor coop for the winter. However, both flocks have gotten along pretty well since their introduction, with no real fights. There have been a few instances of some of them chasing each other back and forth, but no blood was spilled. The two flocks mostly stay away from each other and stick to their own little groups. That being said, the cochin and wyandotte cockerels haven't really discovered that they're boys yet, no crowing or anything for the moment. The brabanter and bantam roo have discovered this and have started crowing, but they haven't really started getting too frisky with the ladies yet. I did see my brabanter rooster trying to dance for one of the cochin roosters yesterday, though, so I guess his hormones are finally flowing or either he was just doing a dominance thing. I've never even seen him dance for any of his pullets, so I'm leaning more towards the dominance thing...unless I ended up with a gay rooster. [​IMG] The cochin rooster just ran away. [​IMG]

    At any rate, both flocks have been going into their own sides of the coop at night and not really mingling together out in the run. Instead of pulling the cochin and wyandotte cockerels out, would it be a better idea to just leave them as is for now and see if they continue to do well together? I don't want to separate them needlessly, but I also don't want them causing trouble for each other... and myself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2011
    I have successfully combined my flocks into one house for the winter, for several reason.. very successfully for years..> I've had as many as 5 roosters in with 15 or 20 hens before. This year, I think it would be about 5 roosters for about 12 hens.

    once together, they shouldn't be a problem, as the pecking order is established..it's the establishing of that pecking order that creates problems.
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
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    Quote:That's what I was hoping, that they'd work out a pecking order on their own without any serious fighting. I'm thinking that it may end up 5 roosters as I'm thinking of keeping 2 of the cochins instead of just 1. I was hoping that it wouldn't be too hard for them to work out a pecking order since all of them are still so young.
     

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