Getting new flock into old coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Eggs82, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Eggs82

    Eggs82 Chirping

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    Ok. So this spring I decided to get 6 new chickens to add to my old flock of 5 for a grand total of 11. I raised the chicks in my garage until they where large enough to go outside. Which at that point in time I separated my existing run into two parts and built a temporary coop for the new chicks. (basically a dog house with some roosting bars). So I basically had two runs with two coops. I allowed over a month for the new girls to see the big girls before allowing them all out to free range together. Most of the big girls tolerate the younger hens but I’ve got two golden comets, blanch and Sofia that still attack the younger hens any chance they get. I’m at a point now where I really need to get the younger girls into the big coop as there’s not enough room in the dog house, and no nesting boxes in there. I’ve tried licking the smaller coop at bed time to see if the younger ones will go into the big coop, but they all decide to roost on top of the dog house. Should I just go ahead and sneak all the little girls into the big coop at night and see what happens. I really don’t want two coops. Thanks.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

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    Try putting the meanies in the chicks set up, and putting the chicks with the more tolerant birds. This (if I read your set up right) will lock them away from their coop. You may have to set them on the roost, or just chase them in the big girls coop, and shut the door. Two or three days, and they should be in there on their own, then let out the meanies, and pull out the dog house or lock it up.

    I am pretty sure they will all be in that coop that night.

    I had a similar set up, I just shut up the chicks house, and using a stick, guided them into the coop, and shut the pop up door. A couple of nights, and they figured it out. A lot depends on just how mean your aggressive pair are. My older birds just ignore my younger ones unless they get too close.

    Mrs K
     
  3. Eggs82

    Eggs82 Chirping

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    Hmm. I might have to give that a try. The golden girls are real jerks. They’ll go out of there way to attack my younger birds. The other big girls are pretty tolerant as long as the young ones stay out of there way.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 6 Years

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    Things may calm down, given more time and space, and places for the youngsters to avoid the older birds. If any injuries are happening, or the group doesn't settle in, consider rehoming those older hens. Peace in the flock is important!
    Mary
     
  5. Eggs82

    Eggs82 Chirping

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    They free range all day so there’s plenty of space for them to Avoid each other. Both the golden comets were introduced to my existing flock and really took a beating and a couple of months to find there place. Now there the mean ones. If things don’t work out I may try solitary confinement for the aggressive hens. Seemed to help when my dominant barred rocks were beating up the golden comets. If that doesn’t work out they’ll have to go I guess. There bad influences on the rest of the flock anyhow.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    Exactly my thoughts!

    That's why they are being so aggressive to the newbies, they are low birds in the older flock. Typical behavior, I don't know if it's because they are ferociously guarding their place in the pecking order, or they just revel in finally having someone lower in status to beat on.

    Is there plenty of space in the 'big' coop for 11 birds?
    Separate roost for the newbies?
    How old are the chicks?
    They won't assimilate into the flock until they start laying.

    Sounds like you have a great setup for integration....would love to see pics.
     
  7. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Free Ranging Premium Member 5 Years

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    When I introduced new girls to my flock the low girl in the order was the most ruthless. She's not the lowest in the pecking order now and is much more tolerant. It took a couple months but things did settle down and all is peaceful again.
     
    Eggs82 likes this.
  8. Eggs82

    Eggs82 Chirping

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    . My main coop is 8x4, I realize that’s a little small for 12 chickens but all they do is sleep in there. I did add a couple new roosting bars to the opposite end from where the big girls sleep. I’ve got a total of 16 feet of bars, and oh yea. I say 12 because I recently picked up a beautiful ee rooster, kinda hoping he would bring them together eventually, but as of now the golden girls are beating him up too, Even though he’s bigger than them. My ee hens and the roo are all close to 19 weeks old now.
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

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    I have an 8x4 x 6 feet tall coup, and I keep about a dozen chickens in that. Seldom do people mention the third dimension, but I think it is important, and makes quite a different.

    8x4x4 =128 cubic feet, vs 4x8x6 = 192 cubic feet
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    Height can help...but... really shouldn't be calculated into population capacity-that could be very misleading.
    Especially with smaller coops, the height can be 'unusable' if they don't have landing space on the floor.

    The one thing height is good for, and important, is ventilation.
    The higher up it is, the better.

    That is tight....unless you have a weather and predator proof run.
    2 roosts in a 4' width.....probably hard to navigate and hard for younger ones to stay away from older ones during integration. Got a pic?

    Don't count on that young cockerel to 'keep the peace' anytime soon,
    he is still way out ranked by the hens.

    FYI.....semantics, maybe, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
    Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
    Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
    Age in weeks or months is always a good thing to note.
     

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