free ranging two groups of birds???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by msmechanic58, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. msmechanic58

    msmechanic58 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2011
    Can I let two groups of birds free range together if they have not been integrated? I have 10 hens who are already free ranging in the afternoons because they started feather picking. They do really well. I have 4 hens and a rooster that are about 6 weeks younger. I have yet to let the free range as they have not been moved into the flock with the others. Has anyone had two groups like this and been successful with them free ranging together?
  2. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Yep theres always a little pecking going to happen but it won't take long till they do ok together. I had three different groups going this spring and their all in the same coop now doing just fine.
    If the older flock has been able to check out the new kids for a while thru a fence that makes the process go a lot easier.
  3. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    We run a two flock setup and they all free range together then go back to their own hen house to lay and roost.... Most of the time, sometimes a chicken will "defect" to the other flock and we just let them be. The roosters do not bother each other and all is calm on the range, I should mention our large pen areas for each coop/run are side by side so the younger flock always grows seeing the other flock and the older birds get to know the younger.
  4. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Free-ranging them, as long as you have enough room, shouldn't be a problem. It's a good way to gradually integrate the two flocks if that's your ultimate aim. If not, the advantage to having the space, is that those near the bottom of the collective pecking order can find somewhere to stay out of trouble or harm's way until they all go back to their respective coops for the night. If the occasional defection southerndesert mentions is not a problem for your plan, I say go for it and let the birds sort it out.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  5. msmechanic58

    msmechanic58 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2011
    Thanks so much for the reassurance. I let the littles out for a few hours today but they didn't go more than a few feet from the door. We will keep trying.
  6. The BackYarder

    The BackYarder Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2011
    Left Coast
    Just keep tring. It took my last set of babies three weeks. At first they would not wonder far from their mini coop.
  7. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I have several different pens of chooks. What I do is every day a different flock gets let out to free range. Works pretty good. [​IMG]

    ~ Aspen [​IMG]
  8. muffinmom

    muffinmom Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    We have four coops of birds, totaling about 35 that free-range during the day together, and all return to their own coops at night. They are all different ages. I try to put them out in the coops in two's or three's so they have a buddy. I lose any roosters who are too spunky. It is fun to watch them interact and set up the pecking order. Very fun!
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I once had two flocks living together. One my Dels and mixed birds and the other was CM's. Each had a rooster and each flock stayed away from the other. Eric and his girls and Nick and his girls. Each in separate parts of the yard. However when I separated the roos to separate coops they went at each other. Then it was only one group in the yard at a time. Rotating days.

    I now have Dels in one coop and mostly orps in the other. Each has their own run but I let them into the yard together and they seem to do fine. Must be seven rooster total. Of course they haven't all come in fully grown either. The younger roosters were raised with everyone else as chicks.

    They all go into their coops at night with a few misplaced birds now and then but it's no big deal. When breeding time comes I'll keep them separate in their runs for a time.

    One can only try,

  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have six groups I call sub-flocks, each ranging number between 7 and 36 birds. Most of the sub-flocks repressent a cohort of birds run through brooder and incubators at 28-d intervals, while two sub-flocks are based on adults and their offspring. Each sub-flock has its on roost. Our sub-flocks based on brooder reared have overlapping ranges and all go to same feeding station. The remaining two sub-flocks have their own feeding stations and ranges that are largely nonoverlapping. The feeding station setup seems to enable sub-flocks to stay apart. Fighting not too bad but groups still do not mix much.

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