Integrating free range urban chickens and cages ranch chickens


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
We have just relocated and for the next nine months are living in a rented house that does not allow chickens. We have 3 (18 month old) hens, a buff orpington, rir and a golden wyndotte. They have been raised completely free range by my 5 yo daughter who carries them around every single day. Thy are very used to human touch. Our friend that lives on a ranch and has a large coop and run offered to take our ladies in for the next nine months. Currently he has 5 rir that are for egg production and have had little human contact. The run is hard pack earth, but they are often given treats of grain and garden scraps but it is nothing like free ranging. Out of the 5 birds you can easily see that 3 are getting pecked on, missing tail feathers, or bald patches on the back. I have put our three into a rabbit cage in the run but am very nervous about the current state of the coop, and am not looking forward to releasing our urban chicken to these ranch hens. We are living on the ranch for the next month so they will be under our watchful eye but is there anything we can do to help this integration? I was going to doctor up the pecked birds with some vics vapor rub and we were also going to work on getting the ranch hens more used to human touch but I'd love any further advice before our ladies as relased.
Thank you.
Have you thought about building some small portable housing for them while they're there, so they can stay separated? Something you could take with you when you get them back? That sounds like a safe way to go. Maybe a small chicken tractor?
I agree.

I would build something small and possibly portable for your chickens while they're there.

Look at the small coop forum for some good ideas!

sounds like you should provide a place for your chickens to run to, size-wise are yours smaller- sometimes I put up crib bars so the little ones can get into and the big ones can't follow- it's a good way to keep chick feed away from the greedy big birds too, so funny the little guys know they are safe and give the ole raspberry salute once they are safe

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