Introducing Flocks ~ Coop Option Question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ttclan, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. ttclan

    ttclan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2011
    Estes Park, Colorado
    Hi All ~

    I am in need of a little advice.

    I have chicks indoors and am keeping them there until they are 4 weeks old - this week. I have a new coop being built that eventually will house all my chickens, it will be done hopefully tomorrow.

    My original plan was to move my old flock to the new coop and when the chicks are ready move outside I was going to put into my old coop (it's smaller and eventually will used exclusively as a brooder).

    Then when they are adults I would join the flocks together. (bold for clarity)

    I have read all kinds of suggestions on integrating a new flock and an old one and understand the best option is to put fence between them, etc.

    So that's not where I'm going with this thread.

    Here's my question or rather two questions in one. [​IMG]

    Would it maybe be wiser for me to put the young birds into the new coop and wait to move the older flock?

    Or should I continue as originally planned and move the old crew over and in another 5-6 weeks put all the adult birds together - having given them time to visit through the fence for those weeks?

    My thought is that the older crew will be flustered some from moving to a new environment and that could help with integration if I waited. Maybe?


    Does that make sense?
    I'm not asking for advice on integrating them...since there is lots of great advice already out there. [​IMG]

    I'm asking what would you do with the two coops.

    Is there wisdom in the thought that a move will upset the older flock and help with integrating the two flocks together when the time is right.

    Also, while I'm asking, would it help with joining flocks to free range them at times together?

    Any advice would be helpful...and if I'm making this too hard, you can tell me that too. [​IMG]
  2. kipper

    kipper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would keep the older birds where they are, put the chicks in the new coop. When you eventually move the older ones into "new territory", it may decrease some of the issues around dominance in the older birds since this new coop will not be their "turf".

    It will be, eh, "exciting" when you put them in together. Even visiting through the fence doesn't always work. We have two houses/yards divided by a fence and have had problems combining flocks. Do you have a rooster? A rooster could help correct the older hens (I know you didn't ask to this advice, but we have done this a few times) but could be a problem, too. plan to spend the day in the coop!

    Best of luck to you!
  3. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    I did the same thing and I moved my new birds in the new coop and older ones when I thought they looked all the smae size. I felt like you that tey may not be so territorial if they were being moved to a completely new place and they were actually the intruders. Don't know if that made a difference or not but all worked well for me. However I let my birds free range together from the moment they were old enough to free range. They did get picked on a little but being outside they had plenty of room to get out of the older birds way. I think it was them free ranging together that made the transition flawless. I also just move my other batch of younger birds that just started laying with all the rest with no issues again I think it's because they all free range together.
  4. ttclan

    ttclan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2011
    Estes Park, Colorado
    Thanks, I really appreciate both of your responses.

    That's what I was thinking might be best, the new coop to new birds. I do plan to sit out with them in the beginning.

    As to the rooster...I'm guessing we got more in the new crew than I was hoping for, but we'll have to see. We do not have an older one at this point. I'm waiting to see how that goes in general.

    I was hoping to free range them on warm days...they have a LOT of space to get away if need be and I'll be sitting there for the first few times.

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