Combining two flocks into one!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aussiemixmom, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. aussiemixmom

    aussiemixmom New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2011
    Hello everyone

    4 months ago we picked up 11 hens and a rooster from a friend. She had all together 21 hens and the rooster. So she was left with 10 hens.
    They all settled in nicely and are happy chickens, and rooster too. Last weekend we decided to pick up the other 10 hens.

    Our chickens have a coop with an attached run and when I get home from work we let them out the run into the backyard to do what chickens do.

    The flock is still seperated. Not physically by us, but rather we have the "old" flock consisting of the original 11 hens and rooster and then the "new" flock consisting of the 10 hens. They keep in their own seperate area in the run with the 10 new hens staying mostly in the coop (they have lived their entire live inside a closed up barn and only have seen light that was filtered through the cracks of the barn) and are a bit freaked about having sky above them and grass beneath them. I am not too worried as the "old flock" was the same when they first arrived, scared of everything and all sounds. The "old flock" sits by the front gate from the run to the backyard.

    So they are very much two seperate flocks. The question I have is this. Will they ever become "one flock" or will the possible always stay in their own group. Its funny because before we picked up the original 11 hens and rooster that whole flock was one...but now since 4 months have passed they don't remember much of their time together lol

    The rooster seems to wanna stick with his original girls and there is some pecking going on when they come in close contact but nothing outrageous.

    I would love for them to become one flock, but are starting to wonder if that will happen...what do you all think? Any input and suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sonja in
    Oregon
     
  2. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Give them time to get to know each other again. There will be some intermingling and merging of the two flocks, but you may find they will simply coexist. Once they figure out a pecking order things will go smoothly. But you will probably still see them sticking with their own "flock" because that's where they find safety.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Good morning

    It's hard to say. Right now, they are just getting used to each other again. The 11 are the ones in possession and may defend thier territory from the newcomers. There is also the pecking order stuff that will need to be sorted out. Plus the fear of open sky you mentioned.

    When I raise chicks, they always hang by themselves until they are grown and can find their place in the pecking order. It does not matter if they are raised by a broody or raised in a brooder. Until they work out the pecking order, they stay away from the older chickens to keep from being beat up. I raise mine for meat as well as eggs, so I usually shake up the pecking order myself by removing some chickens from both flocks about that time too, so my circumstances are different than yours. Mine do eventually become one flock, but it is not unusual for friends to sort of hang together in miniflocks. Often this is the ones that were raised together, but not always.

    Since yours are all mature, once they get used to the sky, I'd kind of expect them to start working out the pecking order and merging, but don't be surprised it they often hang separately even after they are fully integrated. Some of mine do that even when they are raised together.
     
  4. aussiemixmom

    aussiemixmom New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2011
    Thank you for the replies, I value and appreciate the input and advise. I guess I just have to watch and see with these girls. A few years ago we had a different flock and added some hens later, which quickly became integrated because the Rooster would "jump" them immidately one by one and afterwards they just kind of fit in - after a few bouts of pecking order business. It seems back then that the Rooster was an important part in making them "his" and therefore the flocks. This rooster I have now is very laid back and easy going and really don't show too much interest in the new girls. Thanks again for the help!

    Hugs
    Sonja
    Oregon
     

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