Free ranging multiple flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Yard full o' rocks, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Yard full o' rocks

    Yard full o' rocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Cartersville, Georgia
    Morning all

    I currently have basically 4 coops

    Coop 1 - Barred Rocks (with 2 cockerels, 5 pullets)
    Coop 2 - Columbian Rocks (with 2 cockerels, 8 pullets)
    Coop 3 - Delawares (with 1 rooster, 3 hens)
    Coop 4 - Trio of exhibition Columbian Rocks (1 cockerel, 2 pullets)

    Each coop is attached to a run. Largest is approx 20x20, smallest is approx 10x10

    I also have a "fenced" chicken yard of approx 1/2 acre (to keep them out of my flowerbeds) and I rotate who gets to "go out" for the day

    I was wondering if anyone free ranges multiple flocks together?? Will the roosters just go off with their own flock or will they hang out as a big group....therein is my fear as I would guess the multiple roos would stand around and fight all day (??)

    I'd love to let my birds out more often and I'm looking for opinions on "to do" or "not to do".....

    Thanks all and hoping everyone has a very Merry Christmas
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    LOL, we gotta be neighbors as my yard is full of rocks, too! Our birds are like night and day and my advice might not apply, but it probably will. Chances of your roosters fighting is near 100%. Chances of your flocks mingling is about 33 1/3% and chances of somebody eventually roosting in the wrong coop is close to 100%. I think your current system is the best way to go, even if you don`t intend to hatch any purebred chicks in the near future. Just my opinion........Pop
     
  3. Yard full o' rocks

    Yard full o' rocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Cartersville, Georgia
    Quote:Thanks Pop!!
     
  4. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    They will most likely fight. If not you may have breeding you dont want happening. I think you have a good system. If it aint broke dont fix it!!
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    My adult flock free ranges from the time I get up in the morning until dusk. My juvenile (25 weeks old) free ranges from 1 PM until dusk. Currently, their coops are approx. an acre apart.
    For the most part, each flock is staying seperate. When the little ones get what we call uppitty and invade the adults area (or coop) there's some minor chasing that goes on - hen on pullet. My adult roo ignores the pullets and lets them do what they want. It's only the hens that have a problem with it.
    My adult roo, a LF brahma, has gone after my turken cockerel maybe twice. The turken is much faster than my big boy, so no harm done.
    Everybody is returning to their own coop at night, except for one hen. She's not allowed to sleep in the nestboxes in her coop, so occasionally I'll find her hiding in the nestboxes of the juvenile coop. Silly bird.
    Our farm is 80 acres and the adults range pretty far from their coop. For the most part, the little ones still stick pretty close.
     
  6. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I have multiple coops and lots of room for foraging. However, my free range area is not fenced in. I usually let 2 groups out at a time, and it is a rare occasion if they ever meet. I let out a group that goes to the back, and a group that goes to the front. They really are quite a ways away from each other though. They have never went into the wrong coop, always go into their own. I think, since yours is a fenced area, they may meet up.

    Can you divide up your fenced 1/2 acre, allowing 2 groups out? [​IMG]
     
  7. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure how many flocks I have. There are 6 hens/1 rooster (chantecler) sharing a coop with 2 hens/1rooster ( plymouth partridge rock). They are turned out together for free range and they stay segregated by breed during the day by choice, no fighting. Share nest boxes and roost just fine. I have 5 buckeye hens/3 roosters sharing a coop with 8 Cx hens/1 rooster again no fighting but they segregate by breed during the day except for 1 buckeye rooster who hangs with the Cx. I have 5 hens/3 roosters (chantecler )who share the cow barn with 2 buckeye hens but again they segregate themselves by breed during the day for free ranging. Next door I have 18 hens/1 rooster (chantecler) who hang in the cow barn a bit and try out the roosts but go back to their own coop and territory for free ranging during the day. I think that makes about 10 roosters running about and just some minor scuffles once in a blue moon. No problems with the hens either. All these flocks within flocks it takes a chicken to figure it out.
     
  8. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

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    alvarado, Tx
    All of my birds range together, there is very little fighting among the roos, I have allot of roos because I take all the city boys and give them a place to live. I keep my breeders in their pens at all times. But like now it is getting cold and I let my Spitzhaubens out for the winter to range today, I only have 2 breeding pens with chickens in them right now. In Feb I will be putting chickens back where they go. [​IMG]
    But my cuckoo marans have always ran together and I have a big flock, and they never mingle with anybody else. They always hatch out pure babies, but I dont sell them, I just sell their eggs to eat because they are pretty. [​IMG]
     
  9. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Scott,
    Here's another idea .... Why not just let the girls out to free range, and leave the boys penned? [​IMG]
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,890
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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Yard full o' rocks :

    Morning all

    I currently have basically 4 coops

    Coop 1 - Barred Rocks (with 2 cockerels, 5 pullets)
    Coop 2 - Columbian Rocks (with 2 cockerels, 8 pullets)
    Coop 3 - Delawares (with 1 rooster, 3 hens)
    Coop 4 - Trio of exhibition Columbian Rocks (1 cockerel, 2 pullets)

    Each coop is attached to a run. Largest is approx 20x20, smallest is approx 10x10

    I also have a "fenced" chicken yard of approx 1/2 acre (to keep them out of my flowerbeds) and I rotate who gets to "go out" for the day

    I was wondering if anyone free ranges multiple flocks together?? Will the roosters just go off with their own flock or will they hang out as a big group....therein is my fear as I would guess the multiple roos would stand around and fight all day (??)

    I'd love to let my birds out more often and I'm looking for opinions on "to do" or "not to do".....

    Thanks all and hoping everyone has a very Merry Christmas

    I free range multiple flocks, presently 3 which might best be described as subflocks. The do not always get along and strife not limited to males. Once social groups stabilized, no drift between roost evident. All three groups occupy separate roosts that are not secured at night. Two groups have heavily overlapping ranges and recently have merged for most of daily foraging. They still return to respective roost. Fighting not always one on one. The third subflock which does not have a range overlapping other two gets into running battles with the elders of the other two subflocks over access to feed stations. Fights not intense. My birds have multiple acres to range and some natural structures appear to enable formation of stable boundries. Presently these subflocks not in breeding mode. When that changes the social dynamic is very likely to change as well. If like what we used to have, it is at that time when groups will be reduced in size and individuals are exchanged or ejected (latter mostly but not always roosters). A 1/2 acre plot likely too small for such a social system to develop. If so restricted, then lollipops prediction most likely outcome. If roosters all young but one cock with a significant physical advantage, fighting I think would be over in an hour or so. Fighting might not be acceptable for your show birds.​
     

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