Keep separate flocks or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by allykay219, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. allykay219

    allykay219 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    41
    Mar 13, 2016
    Indiana
    [​IMG]
    So I have this question for two different situations. I attached the picture of my two roosters, who do not like each other haha. I currently have John, the rooster outside of the fence, and he has 10 hens. They all free range. Recently, i bought two silkie hens because my hens wouldn't go broody. They are at 6 months and are not laying. about a week later I found Peter, the rooster inside the fence, for free on craigslist. He is a silkie new hampshire mix, I was told. So, I put him in with the silkie girls.

    [​IMG]

    I tried putting the silkie girls in with the rest of the chickens and they hid for days in the coop, so i built them they're own. It was done quick, so I'll have to make changes before winter.

    I am hoping that peter will be like john and if let them free range he will stay with them and get them in to the coop at night. I was worried though that john and peter will fight. I know the silkies are fine in their coop and run but kind of makes me feel bad that they can't run around.

    So, the second situation... I am hatching eggs. I was wondering if I should build another coop and run in case I decide to keep any of the roosters, if there is any.

    I just don't want any killing each other or badly hurting each other. As you can see in the picture John was getting fierce and they were pecking each other through the fence. I haven't seen them do it since the other day though and I think Victoria, the black and white hen, was egging lol it on.
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    29,009
    5,908
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Flock dynamics can be difficult to follow. Since you like to build coops, keep building them but be careful of chicken math. Soon you will have three hundred chickens to deal with. A flock does not need a rooster, and many folks here have flocks without roosters which are thriving. Some folks have bachelor pens to keep extra roosters in. Some folks eat their roosters before they get aggressive and only keep a few for breeding purposes.

    You have to be careful when introducing new chickens. First, make sure you quarantine all new stock for thirty days. Silkies can be passive and do not do well with more aggressive breeds. I like to put the new birds behind a protective barrier to allow the established flock to check out the newbies. Once you do allow them to mingle watch for prolonged fighting scenes. And make sure to have enough space in your coop/pens to allow your flock plenty of space.



    Here I am introducing a new rooster to an established flock of hens.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  3. allykay219

    allykay219 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    41
    Mar 13, 2016
    Indiana
    Ok,thats helps. When the chicks hatch should I keep them separate for 30 days. I plan on eating some and would like some more hens for eggs. So I could do the bachelor pen. For the hens I want to keep for eggs should I wait for a certain age to put then with the big hens? Or just keep an eye on them? I started with chicks I got at the farm store last year and was given hens by couple different family members. With them I just put them in the coop at night and they did fine but they're all older. I'm sorry if thats a lot of questions.
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    30,873
    21,783
    736
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Don't be shy when it comes to asking questions - how else can we find out stuff? [​IMG]

    Good luck

    CT
     
  5. allykay219

    allykay219 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    41
    Mar 13, 2016
    Indiana
    Ok. Thank you so much!
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    30,873
    21,783
    736
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You are most welcome

    CT
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,695
    9,188
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  8. mcad

    mcad Out Of The Brooder

    47
    3
    26
    Mar 14, 2016
    Kinderhook, IL
    Quote: I can't get this link to work.. :(
     
  9. allykay219

    allykay219 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    41
    Mar 13, 2016
    Indiana
    That helps a lot. I think thats what I'll do when the smaller ones are ready. So, do you think eventually the silkies will be able to free range too? After they're used to each other through the fence. I would love it if they can!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,695
    9,188
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by