How can I get my chickens to equally utilize my space?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by perrypogue, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. perrypogue

    perrypogue Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2015
    Haskell TX
    My situation is that I have two 12x12 coops with a 12x24 pen between the coops. I have six hens and my rooster using one of the coops and I've got 40 month old chicks in the other coop. Per advice here I intend to integrate my flock in another month when the chicks are two months old.

    I would like to get all 47 birds to equally use the two coops. That would make roosting and nesting areas better utilized. However, as the 40 chicks are being raised together and fenced off from the seven (7) older (one year old) chickens ... I wouldn't guess that they would voluntarily start using the less crowded coop.

    Because I don't believe I can keep the chickens out of my garden I plan to leave them in the coops/run ... they will have access to both coops and I would guess they will become acquainted with the other coop.

    I could probably trap them in the other coop and in a few days perhaps they would begin to roost with the older birds.

    Or I could just let nature take it course ... but both coops have four nesting boxes ... it would be better if they used all 8 nesting boxes instead of 40 pullets trying to use four nesting boxes.

    Could I get some advice?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Shazam Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would let it just play out and see what happens, only stepping in if the more crowded coop has any troubles, are they all hens, or is there another rooster. I think eventually you will see mingling but it might not be until they are older than 6 months, I would open the fence between them when the young ones are 2-3 months old, putting them back on their own side for a bit at night. I have a similar set up without the fencing, my bigger hens will sometimes go into the bantam coop to lay their eggs and dig around in their run, but young ones are mostly left alone except for an occasional peck by an older bird to move a young one off.
    2 people like this.
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Two flocks with access to 2 coops will mean a lot of visiting and mixing. I tried for a long time to evenly split them up and found I was spending more time shuffling chickens than any other task in their care.Then I figured out the answer to the problem Let them figure it out. Unless I'm trying to breed specific birds I don't care where they sleep. I gather all the eggs every days and have found it really doesn't matter which coop they lay in. If one coop is too crowded the lower pecking order girls will move to the other coop. The girls will settle in pretty quick the roo's may take awhile but usually will figure it out. I had three roo's with 40-45 girls and father and son took one coop and the other roo took the other.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good advice^^^^

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by