Integrating New Orpingtons Into a 1 Year old Mixed Flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pv74, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    I bought some Orpingtons this spring. They are very docile in nature and are HUGE compared to mixed flock of Barred Rocks, Leghorns and some other variety I don't remember off hand. The 1 year old hens are very aggressive and keep the Orpingtons from going into the coop to sleep.

    Instead, the Orpingtons keep to themselves in there own little flock, and sleep outside in the 10x10x6 fenced in run. I know they could survive the winter outside, but this is pretty ridiculous. How do I make my 5 aggressive hens find religion and accept the new hens?
    This has been going on for over a month now...and winter is starting to set in quickly...


    Tree Hugger Hens (Three Docile Orpingtons.)

    VS

    Hell's Angel's Hens (5 in all Two Plymouth Rocks, One Leghorn, and Two "sexlinks" that I bought at the feedstore.)

    If I had it to do over again, I think I would go with straight Orpingtons...I bought them from a guy who raises heritage poultry...and I have to say that I am impressed with their temperament and size. Beautiful birds.

    My gut tells me that this is not going to work :(
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Orps tend to allow themselves to be pushed around, and it's not unusual for a group to remain in the same general space but separate, anyway. You may have to hand place them into the coop, or on the roost after dark.
     
  3. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    That's the problem I'm having...and they are all ready bigger than my older flock!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is your coop and how much roost space do you have?

    You might want to install another roost at the same or slightly lower level for the new birds.

    I did this last year when I had pullets wanting to roost in the nests because the bigger birds wouldn't let them on the roost...worked out very well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  5. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a chicken coop that I built with plans from Purina. I has a multilevel roost and can accommodate up to eight full sized chickens.

    http://www.salemchickens.com/Purina_coop_plans.pdf

    I may try putting them in by hand just before it gets dark...but I'm afraid they will just fly out into the run.. My setup is fully enclosed (too many predators in my area).

    Turkeys go on the left, chickens to the right...


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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  6. pv74

    pv74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2014
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    I had my little daughter stand in front of the tunnel from the run to the coop, then I placed each chicken in the back of the coop, one at a time.
    When they tried to crawl out, I had her crawl into the tunnel into the coop and place each chicken on the middle roost bar (The established flock always roosts on the top bar).
    It was dark enough, so they just gave up and roosted. Hopefully, if we do this for a few days, they will take the hint. Hopefully, they end up using the nesting boxes when they start laying.

    When I bought these chicks, I raised them in the brooder with a flock of 5 Sweetgrass turkey chicks.

    After everyone feathered out and the weather turned warmer, I put the Orpington and Sweetgrass poults into my enclosed turkey pen with a hen and a tom that I had kept from the previous year.
    Everyone got along fine, and although I built them a small temporary coop, they preferred to sleep outside on the roost with the turkeys...so I let them have at it.
    The reason I raised them with the turkeys is that I wanted them to be big enough to defend themselves when I introduced them to my main flock of chickens.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, 'they' say that it'll hold 8 chickens(typical population error in prefabbed coops and many plans) but 4' x 4' is not really big enough for more than 4 LF chickens max, IMO...especially in bad weather.
     

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