Establishing Meat bird flock next to existing laying flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slanik, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. slanik

    slanik New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2013
    We have an established laying flock of hens. They are totally free range over our property. I provide laying feed in the coop and they forage for the rest. They are out all day and return to their coop at night. Next spring I'd like to get some Freedom Rangers for meat. I plan on raising them in a separate coop of their own. I'll provide their food - broiler feed - in the coop. I'd like to let them free range just like the laying hens.

    If I finish brooding them in their own coop, can I then just let them free range like I do the hens? I'm assuming that each flock will return to their own coop at night. Does this plan sound reasonable? What should I expect?
     
  2. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maryland
    I just did something similar. I have my laying flock, a bantam flock and a SFH flock. They all roam free and intermingle -- but the roosters do not allow crossbreeding, lol -- and go back to their coops at night. I got 33 FR/Rosambro chicks in July. Raised them in the garage to 11-12 days old then put them outside in a hoop coop. The hoop coop is set in a pasture the chickens could graze, but the layers usually don't.

    At first, I had a fence around the hoop coop to protect the meaties, but it was a hassle to move the coop, then move the fence every day. So...one day, I left the door open and no fence. The meaties did their thing, and the layers stayed away from them.

    It was only at the end when the ducks figured out there was more food and water available there, and I have some POL pullets with no rooster that would go visit, but the layers tended to stay away and make their usual rounds. Worked well. Meaties went to freezer camp last Friday.
     

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