How do I merge two flocks?

tomato lady

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2009
425
3
121
Eatonville, WA
I have a flock of 23 older hens (3 - 4 years old). I also have a flock of 23 younger hens + one rooster. The younger flock is in a large building with enough room for all 48 chickens. How do I merge the two flocks with out bloodshed? There is only the one rooster. I am not sure this matters, but my older flock used to use the big building. I built a new "garden coop" so they could weed my garden all winter and spring. I don't know if they will remember the new building or not. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
 

chfite

Songster
8 Years
Jun 7, 2011
2,171
122
214
Taylors, SC
I placed two flocks next to each other, separated by a fence for about two weeks. They got see and interact with each other without physical contact. At the end of the time, I opened the doorway between them. After a few days, they established a pecking order. Life went on from there. The older flock had two roosters, the younger flock had none. They meshed well.

They had separate coops, but all decided to roost in the same coop. I use the other coop for storage now.

Chris
 

tomato lady

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2009
425
3
121
Eatonville, WA
Thanks, Chris. I can divide the coop with some plastic covered wire mesh that I have. I can also use it to divide the yard. There is a window on one side of the coop that opens to one half of the chicken yard, and a door that will open from the other side of the coop to the other side of the yard. They will be able to see each other through the plastic/wire mesh. Thanks again.
 

blacklab23

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
5
0
45
I've been wondering the same thing. We have one year old hens, then 2 batches of baby chicks that are now 5 weeks and 11 weeks old. We added on to the back of the original coop house and for now our 11 wk babies are in that new coop & our 5 weeks are in a chicken tractor in the yard. Probably in a month or 6 wks we are going to join the 2 baby sets together, but I did wonder about how long to try and merge them all. Maybe later this summer? Their 2 runs will be next to each other and they all see each other every day as it is. We have no roosters.
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
518
328
Ohio
If your birds can see each other and interact through a fence every day for a while, you can just put them together one day. There will be squabbles as everyone gets used to a new place in the pecking order, but as long as there's no blood, it's all good. They'll settle down.
 

tedln

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
16
0
22
North Texas
We have six Silver Laced Wyandotte hens at about twenty weeks of age in a large coop and run we just finished constructing. We plan on getting six Red Sex Link pullets about twelve weeks old and adding them to the flock. Our intent is to keep the Sex Links in a smaller coop next to the new coop until they are about twenty weeks old and then merge them with the older hens. Should we anticipate any problems merging the two different ages or breeds? We don't have a rooster. Should we merge them all at once or two at a time? I can almost picture a gang fight in my mind if we merge them all at the same time.

Thanks

Ted
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
518
328
Ohio
We have six Silver Laced Wyandotte hens at about twenty weeks of age in a large coop and run we just finished constructing. We plan on getting six Red Sex Link pullets about twelve weeks old and adding them to the flock. Our intent is to keep the Sex Links in a smaller coop next to the new coop until they are about twenty weeks old and then merge them with the older hens. Should we anticipate any problems merging the two different ages or breeds? We don't have a rooster. Should we merge them all at once or two at a time? I can almost picture a gang fight in my mind if we merge them all at the same time.

Thanks

Ted
Always wait for chickens to be the same size before you introduce them--which means your RSLs should be 18 weeks old or so before you introduce them to the SLW. Also, they need different feeds at this point in their lives, any way. Too much calcium in a pullet's diet can cause reproductive problems, and the 12 week old chicks need the extra protein chick starter provides.

Merge them all at once--then the hens cant' gang up on just one or two. Give them lots of room to get away from each other. There will be some pecking, for sure. Just remember, no blood, no foul.

Different breeds really aren't a problem unless it's a breed like a Polish or a Silkie that tend to get picked on by large fowl. Your breeds will integrate fine, although you may always have two flocks that hang out together--I've noticed that my different colors of chickens tend to stick together, although they all share the same hen house.
 

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