Combining flocks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cochicks, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. cochicks

    cochicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2010
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    We currently have three mature hens in our small outside coop and two BO chicks (well, they are 12 weeks old) in the garage. Our new coop is finally finished, so we are ready to move them outside and all together. What is the best way to combine them? Currently there are no hens in the big coop, so it will be a new living environment for all five of them.
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The ones we want to add to the flock, we put in our tractor for a week or so, so they can see and interact with the others, and vice versa. When they are used to seeing each other, then we open the door, and when old and new mingle we hang around and make sure things are progressing smoothly, which they always seem to.
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    There's bound to be a few tangles, as they establish the pecking order, but it shouldn't be anything major. Before you let the two flocks mingle, while you're introducing them you could move them so they can see each other during the day, then move them back to the garage if you need to at night, for protection and shelter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  4. cochicks

    cochicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2010
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    Thanks! We had them all free-ranging in our backyard all day today. The new ones were going in and out of the old one's coop for food and water throughout the day. The old girls seemed a little perturbed, but they went about their normal business and didn't bother the new girls at all. We're going to put them all to bed together in their new coop tomorrow night. I guess we'll see how it goes!
     
  5. LindenLiving

    LindenLiving Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2011
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    Here's how not to do it. I have six Buff Orp given to me by a friend and they were used to being together so there were no problems when they came to my coop. I lost one due to a dog attack and DH and DD thought it would be sweet to surprise me for Christmas with two grown Easter Eggers from my sister-in-laws coop. This had tragic consequences because they just tossed them in with my girls and then informed me of their presence when I went out to check on my girls. Well, one of the Easter Eggers was pecked horribly and finally had to be removed. The other survived by hiding under the pen and the other girls finally allowed her into the group due to her tenacity. However, the stress put her into a molt and she has yet to lay since joining the group. Told my DH and DD that the next time they wanted to surprise me, don't. You have to slowly acclimate the new chickens with the existing group so they will be accepted and don't become pecking fodder.
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes, I agree. Don't just throw them all in there together. There's plenty of time to let them get used to each other slowly. .
     

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