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Does "pecking order" change with multiple coops?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklets81, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    This may seem like a weird question, but I'm working on building a 2nd coop for my chickens. I currently have 12 (11 hens, 1 roo) in a 11x8 coop.

    I'm hatching a whole bunch of chicks, and this weekend picking up pre-ordered chicks I got from store.

    When I finish my 2nd coop, and house the new chicks in it, will this affect the flocks pecking order if they go into their own seperate home at night?

    Meaning, does this confuse the chickens when they come out of the coop and mingle with chickens that they were not roosting with?

    They will all be free-ranging during the day.

  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    All your chickens will migrate to one coop. Your current coop can easily handle twice as many chickens. I wouldn't bother with a second coop unless it's a meat bird or bachelor pad.
    Anytime you introduce new birds regardless of age, flock dynamics will change.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Once the young chicks mature they will work it out. Until then, the mature chicks will outrank the immature ones.

    I can’t tell you how they will work it out. Since you are hatching you will have males. You will get some drama from that as they mature. Since you free range and have lots of room, it might not be all that bad between the males but you will have some drama. While it can sometimes be serious, some of the funnies things I’ve seen have been with young males in a flock.

    They may continue to use two different coops after the young owns mature, some or even all may move in with the adults at night. The pullets may lay eggs in the other coop or they may lay in their own or even hide a nest. I’m comfortable they will work it all out, but I have no idea what it will look kike in a year.

    A story. I had a mature dominant rooster in the flock and some mature hens. I also had several cockerels and pullets, probably around 5 months old. One of the cockerels made advances toward a mature hen so she ran to the mature rooster to let him take care of Junior. When the cockerel saw the mature rooster he kept running but veered away from the hen and ran under an outbuilding that was up a bit off the ground. The rooster started strutting around, all puffed up and proud. “I’m the man!! I’m the man!!” Meanwhile Junior ran out of the backside of that outbuilding and kept running in a circle. He circled behind that hen and “nailed” her while that rooster was still strutting around. Both that hen and the rooster looked kind of confused.
    1 person likes this.
  4. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    Thanks for the responses to this question. I've heard of people having more than one coop, and am still learning the best way to keep my chickens. I don't think I want to make a bachelor pad, so maybe I'll just take the pallets that I have, and make a semi-structure with a roof for a place to hide when theres predators nearby, but nothing too crazy and just let them live in their original coop. So many ideas!
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have 2 separate flock, one bantam and one mostly large breed. They free range in the same area but for the most part they stay separate, they always return to their own sheds at night as birds will bond to the coop. It can take nearly a year when I remove extra bantam roosters from the bantam coop to get them to stay in the bigger shed, even than they still look to return sometimes.

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