Little ones mixing with big ones

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crayon, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. crayon

    crayon Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Hillman Michigan
    So- I have 2 flocks. I have one that are 20 weeks and one that are 8 weeks. The last 2 weeks they have been open together in the same yard space- but they pretty much do not mingle at all. The small ones sleep in different space and stay in the fenced in coop area and the larger ones free range all day.

    At first the larger ones pecked the babies and chased them- now they will chase them- but mostly the little ones have figured out to just run when they see the large ones.

    My issue is....

    We just built a winter coop today!!! YEAH!!! I have put the babies in there (as their coop did not have a perch and was more prone to predators). But, here soon I have to co-mingle the flocks nightly. We live in NE Michigan and it will get cold here soon and I will have to make sure they are all safe and warm.

    So- how do I do this without the larger ones killing my babies? I do have 2 larger roos and at least 1 roo in the babies. Total of 18 chickens.

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. calicokat

    calicokat Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    When we need to subdivide in our coop, we put a large dog crate (usually called the "Bachelor Pad" or "Condo") on top of the nesting box shelf. Is there a large flat area inside your coop that would accomodate a dog crate like that?

    This way the birds are all still together and learning, sort of, to get along - but no blood can be drawn (or eggs fertilized depending on who's in there and why [​IMG])

    We've got a trio in there now because this roo gets run off when free ranging and I'm tired of tracking him down. He had been staying in the enclosed run with his little harem, but that had to be given over to a new quad to be quarentined -- so, into the bachelor pad he went with his favorite 2 gals.

    The other reason I like the dog crate method is, it still allows air to circulate all around so no overheated birdies.
  3. crayon

    crayon Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Hillman Michigan
    Not sure if I can fit our dog crate in there. But- once we enclose a section out side of the coop (but still in the pole barn) maybe I can put up the smaller coop they are in outside (a kid house) in that section and they will learn to just comingle?

    Maybe once my little ones get larger and are not as easy to kill (ha) maybe they will just figure it out.
  4. Noymira

    Noymira Songster

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Maybe try using wire to create a separate area with an opening only the little ones can fit into? This would give them a refuge if they need to run from the big ones, but still let them mingle when they feel safe to. It wouldn't have to be too big, just enough space to roost in if they wanted to and get away from the others.

    I have a bunch of pullets 14-18 weeks with older birds and they still get chased, but any violence I see tends to be among the older hens. Now when I spread out treats or scratch I just toss a handful in two different directions, the younger birds go to one and the older birds go to the other.

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