Integrate all my chickens at once in new coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Leigti, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am building a new coop. I hope it will be done by the weekend. I would like to integrate all my chickens at once together in the new coop. I have three different ages of chickens, two years old, eight months old, and eight weeks old. The two oldest groups have free range together and the younger ones have a pen next to the others and have been in there for about three weeks.
    Since none of these chickens have lived in the scoop before and it is neutral territory is it possible to put them all in there at once? I do plan on keeping them all locked up in the coop and run for at least two weeks before letting them free range during the day.
    Any suggestions on how to make this work would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'm not sure that they would need to be kept in the coop / run for such a long duration - maybe 2-3 days should give them time to know here "home" is.

    Firstly, i would suggest letting the younger group mingle with the rest of the flock for a while (but keep an eye on them to start with and make sure you have multiple feeding stations out of sight of each other).

    Then I'd be inclined to put the younger group in first until they become accustomed to "home". The other two groups could be added together (since they are already familiar with each other). You can let the young ones out to free range during the period of lockdown for the other two groups (and thus avoid bullying / food deprivation of the young ones). You could then let the young ones back into the run / coop at dusk.

    Ensuring that your roosts are sufficient and properly spaced is likely to be important to allow the young ones to roost - maybe with some temporary partitions? I have two sets of roosts - one set for the main flock (along one wall) and another smaller set for newbies and youngsters (along another wall).

    I've never done it, so these are just my thoughts. I am sure that more experienced members will be along during the course of the day to share their expertise. I'll keep my subscription open because its an interesting situation and i would also like to learn what others feel is the best approach.

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the reply. Oh my roosts on one level. I have nine chickens and 12 feet of roost so I hope that's OK. I have a little cat carrier that the little ones can run into so the big ones can't get them. I did plan on putting that in the run. The roofs are about 24 inches off the floor, I'm wondering if I should build a little ramp?
    I am really hoping that the neutral territory thing will help a great deal in this plan.
     
  4. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any other input? Will this work or am I fooling myself? Anybody else ever try it?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    New coop might defuse the territoriality issues.
    Lots of space, places to hide, multiple feed/water stations still apply.
    I'd have a back up plan, just in case.

    Not sure the cat carrier will work...needs to be big enough for all the littles, have food, water, and a door that the biggers can't get thru.
    They may need respite both in run and coop.

    Time to 'home' to the new coop might depend on the status of the old coop....will you be removing it from the premises?
    They are going to want to go back in there.

    Best of cLuck....let us know how it works out!
     
  6. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will have a mini run in the bigger run. And more food and water stations.
     
  7. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess I will give it a shot, I'll update later.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You never know until you try!
     
  9. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to wait till next Friday when I have time to devote to it so I can keep a close eye on them. So any suggestions between now and then would be appreciated. I will post pictures of the set up.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How big is the new coop? Do you only have one roost in it?
    A few potential issues with your plan that I see are space and roosting issues.
    If you built the coop to be just big enough for your current nine, it might be a bit short on space to address 'integration' issues. You really need a LOT of space for integrating groups, much more than just the bare minimum. Also, older birds do not usually allow young birds to roost with them. I mean, I've got a few hens that will not allow 8 week old chicks on the same roost as them even if she is the only adult on the roost. Several different heights will also help ease tension. The older birds won't feel the need to be quite so bossy if they have a place to physically look down on the ones that are younger. Chickens quite literally have a 'higher' archy. The higher a bird is in the pecking order, the higher their roosting position will be. All one level causes a lot more drama.
     

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