I want my birds flock together

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rstampa, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    I have 4 one year old hens. Had 7 but a dog killed 3 of them back in April. I purchased 4 one day old chicks and now they are 16 weeks old. They are keep in two separate coops. The young ones coop is one of those "Chickens in a Hutch" and they are now out growing it. The are intimidated by the older hens. If they get within a foot or so of each other the older hen chase the young one.
    My question is how can I get they to become one flock. They and I need them to roost in the same coop and run. Please advise me.

    Thanks to all.

    PS. An added correction that I forgot to mention. "They all free range at the same time. But they keep them selves seperate for the older hens. The babies have been free ranging since they were 2 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Can you free range them together at all?? That seems to help them get aqquainted while the little ones can run away from the bullies if necessary.
    Mine generally stick witht their brooder groups up to a point, but they seem to naturally intergrate as they start to lay.
    Over time, they will eventually blend in. My last fall's chicks are part of the main flock, as are *most* of the spring chicks. It's the young non-laying pullets that are still kindof "outcast"
     
  3. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I'd say to just let the big ones show the little ones who's boss. It will seem like they are mean for a day or so, but once the little ones learn to stay out of the way they will get on great.
    I introduced a solo chick to my 17 adults, and a pair of wounded (recovering nicely) hens to my 12 chicks. Each time, the older chickens would peck at the little ones. Sometimes they would march right up to them, glare like they are saying "get out of my way!" and peck them if they didn't run. This only lasted for about a day for most. The pushy chicks (the cockerals) would get frequent reminders, but all get along fine now.
    The solo chick grew up to be our primary rooster, and the 12 chicks have adopted the older hen as their leader, despite those pesky boys questioning her authority.
     
  4. itsmyobsession

    itsmyobsession Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2010
    Georgia
    I put my young ones in with the older ones once they become old enough. First of all I put them in there at night after the hens have roosted they seem to accept them more if they wake up with them in the coop as opposed to me throwing them together during the day. Also, I allow them to establish pecking order without interfering, this may seem cruel but it is a right of passage for all chickens.......good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  5. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought four teenage pullets and had to put them right in with my flock because my alternate cage is full of broodiness at the moment. They were a present from my hubby who didn't realize I'd want to keep new birds seperate for awhile.

    So we just put them in the big coop for lack of anything better to do. They did get bullied really bad for a few minutes and we put out a bunch of treats to distract the main group of birds and we did all this in the evening when they were all going to bed anyways. That night they all roosted together despite clumping into kinda two groups, with the new birds underneath. The next day the roo really showed them who was boss and they were afraid to come out of the coop for a day or two because of that. But I asked for advice on here and was told to just give it some time. I did, and now they are coming out and after at first being chased back in by my bossier hens, they are traveling around the area in a little pullet pack.

    I think I have learned it is good to incorporate a small group instead of just one. These ones have each other and calm each other down, it makes it much better for them.
     
  6. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    Quote:Yes they have been free ranging together since the babies were two weeks old. And they know their place with the older hens. But they won't get too close to them.
     
  7. Jkioneil

    Jkioneil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    Oregon
    MINE TOO! My young girls have been with the big girls since the beginning of june and still stick to their own flock i was wondering if there was anything i could do but i am glad that in time they will be happy together and perhaps not have to be on seprate sides of the coop they dont fight but the ladies let the girls know what is what if you know what i mean. is time the only thing that will work it out. they dont even sleep together. the ladies sleep in the coop and the girls sleep way up in our fruit trees. i have ot forced them to sleep together cuz i did not want to come out in the morning to anyone being pecked to pieces!
     
  8. snowflake

    snowflake Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    mine all free range together. I have 4 different ages. 11 and a rooster, last years batch, 8(1rooster) from this spring, 6(2,maybe3roosters) from a late may hatch, broody took them into the big coop, protected them for a bout a week, and 6from late June hatch, mother's are taking them into the big coop off and on during the day, March ordered chicks still sleep in the tractor, late June, still sleep in another tractor with mom's, hopping to get them all together before winter, but I think I will try to re-home or keep some of the young roosters separate.
    They will use the same nest box and wander in and out off each others coops during the day, but segregate at night. good luck with your hens, they do boss each other around a lot, the younger birds in the big coop seem to try to be the first ones on the roost at night or wait till all the older hens are in, the rooster doesn't seem to harass the younger ones at all. he is more likely to go after the oldest of the young rooster.
     
  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Yes they have been free ranging together since the babies were two weeks old. And they know their place with the older hens. But they won't get too close to them.

    Yes, at that age I had 3 separate "flocks" ranging my yard. Now they are mainly together, only the very youngest 2 stay off to themselves. When they start laying they will get braver. They will usually be pushy enough to lay eggs in the same nests as the adults.
    Some breeds just seem pushier as well. I had some 7-8 week RIR chicks that would steal cracked corn from the adult flock, but I've had some EEs that were too meek. In fact one of the loners is an EE cockerel, you'd think he'd be feeling his oats by now - he's been crowing for a month, I think he's about 15 weeks. [​IMG]
     

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