Joining new and old

RandyRoooo

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2020
14
28
36
So . . Our chicks are about 16 weeks old. They have been separate from our ladies, but in the same house. We will ever be able to free range them with the ladies and house them all together? We tried and the feathers were flying. And our head hen went after the rooster and pinned him against the wall. Needless to say, they are still separated.
 

Flockincrazy

Songster
May 23, 2020
2,067
4,140
243
Elyria, Ohio
I join mine when I can spend time with them to correct the ones that are being bullies if they go after the others grab them hold them chest to the ground for a minute or so while the others are walking around it will teach them that you are the boss and they can not be mean
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2009
8,370
9,572
596
western South Dakota
Feathers flying is normal, but it can get out of hand. What are the numbers of each group of birds? Sometimes it is best to divide up the dominant group.

Say you have 6 older birds and 2 chicks, take one or two of the middle of the pecking order birds, and put them with the chicks for a few days, there will be a dust up, but generally that will settle, then try and put them together. Often times there will be one or two of the older birds, that are just mean, grab them and put them where you have been keeping the chicks until the chicks and remaining older birds get things settled, later you can add the older birds back in, but it might be two weeks later.

A lot also depends on your set up. Pictures would help. Adding a lot of hideouts, platforms, roosts in the run can help with multiple hidden feed bowls.

Mrs K
 

RandyRoooo

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2020
14
28
36
Feathers flying is normal, but it can get out of hand. What are the numbers of each group of birds? Sometimes it is best to divide up the dominant group.

Say you have 6 older birds and 2 chicks, take one or two of the middle of the pecking order birds, and put them with the chicks for a few days, there will be a dust up, but generally that will settle, then try and put them together. Often times there will be one or two of the older birds, that are just mean, grab them and put them where you have been keeping the chicks until the chicks and remaining older birds get things settled, later you can add the older birds back in, but it might be two weeks later.

A lot also depends on your set up. Pictures would help. Adding a lot of hideouts, platforms, roosts in the run can help with multiple hidden feed bowls.

Mrs K
I have 6 older hens and 8 young ones with a young rooster. The coop is divided right down the middle. Half wall then chicken wire to the top. There is lots of roosting spaces, not so much hiding places. The older ladies free range all day. The you g ones stay in.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2009
8,370
9,572
596
western South Dakota
Well I would just let them work it out. Remove the divider, and let them out to free range. If you want, do it late in the afternoon, while you are taking down the divider. You have more new birds than old birds, chasing and pecking take a lot of energy, the urge to roost will nearly be as strong as the urge to fight. Probably some feathers flying, but as long as nothing is getting pinned down, do nothing.

If you lock them in at night, do get down early in the morning to make sure birds can get away if needed.

If you truly have a mean one, of a couple of mean ones, pull them out, not the young birds, and let the young birds work it out with the other older birds.

Mrs K
 

DerekAR

In the Brooder
Sep 20, 2020
9
32
25
I’m going through something similar: 4 older, three young. I rotate the young ones between a sectioned-off area of the run with a covered dog crate for a temp coop and the larger area where the main coop is and where the 4 older chickens reside.

The older ones I simultaneously rotate between the bigger coop/run area and free-range.

Of course it’s a little work handling all 7 chickens twice a day but I like the physical connection it allows.

The two groups get to see each other all day and I’ve mixed them in here and there with definite squabbling but I re-separate them before it potentially gets worse.

It’s only been 5 days so far. I think it’s just a matter of time before the interlopers are seen as belonging
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,936
16,268
797
Southeast Louisiana
Until your young ones mature enough to force their way into the pecking order the mature ones outrank them. If the young ones invade their personal space they are likely to get pecked. it usually doesn't take them long to learn to avoid the older ones day and night.

When are you seeing feathers fly? Where are they? If it's out when they are free ranging and they've had a chance to learn to avoid the adults, you probably have an aggressive hen that is a brute. Does she go after them, even if they are trying to stay away? If it is when they are all shoehorned into a small space, well that's not unusual. They don't have room to avoid the adults.

The way I manage mine is that my brooder is in the coop. A wire brooder so they can see each other. The chicks grow up with the flock. When those chicks hit 5 weeks of age I open the brooder door and walk away. That's it, that's how I integrate. I have lot of room outside but so do you. My coop is big enough that the chicks can avoid the adults at night. I have several feeding and watering stations, one in the coop but many outside.

My brooder-raised pullets typically don't start to roost on the main roosts with the adults until they start to lay. As long as they don't sleep in the nests and are somewhere predator safe I don't care where they sleep. I don't see any benefit to trying to force then to sleep together on the main roosts or share tight spaces during the day. I try to give them as much room as I can and let them work things out at their pace.

I don't know how your coop is set up for doors and such or what that divider looks like with doors. I'd try letting your juveniles free range with your adults during the day. If you have an adult brute you may need to lock her up for a while. Let them sleep wherever they want at night as long as you are OK with it. If they go back to their part of the coop lock them in there the first week or so at night and let the adults outside to range before you let the juveniles out. After they have ranged peacefully together for a week or so, don't lock them separately at night but be down there at daylight to see how it's going. With mine I only have to do that once or twice before I'm sure they will be OK in there if I want to sleep in, but I don't know how big your coop is. We are all unique, our facilities are different. Once things are peaceful stop worrying about it and let them become one flock at their pace. They will get there.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom