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Managing two coops/Seperate Flocks-Free range question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NottinghamChicks, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. I always have started mine free ranging immediately for chicks with momma or within two weeks of transferring chicks to their coop, but, I now have two coops with two flocks. The egg layers and the bantam d'Anvers and wonder if I can free range them at the same time?? or Should I alternate their time outside away from each other?

    Anyone else have a similar setup with the seperation of coops/flocks?? I really want them to be able to all be out at the same time becasue it is easier and because I want them to have the most time possible becasue on the four days I work they only get out from 5-8pm. The other three days they are out all day long. Currently only the egg layers are ranging and the d'Anvers just watch [​IMG]

    The d'Anvers are primarily being raised for breeding and not for miniature breakfast food [​IMG]


  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    What are your specific concerns about them free ranging together? Knowing that might make it easier to address your specific concern. And a very important question. Do you have adult roosters with each flock?
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My bantams and LF are in separate coops/runs, but I free range them together every day. It was funny when I first started, as soon as they were released, the little ones would run to the big coop/run to hang out and the big girls would run to the bantam coop to eat their "different" feed. Not so much anymore (although the big girls will sometimes lay eggs in the bantam coop nest boxes). Everybody heads back to their own coop each evening.
    Are you concerned about mating issues?
  4. hencam

    hencam In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2007
    I have two flocks that are kept penned separately. I do let them free-range at the same time. When out at the same time, they avoid each other and keep to their own social groups. I have a large yard and there's rarely a scuffle. Once in awhile one hen charges another and then backs off. This works in a large, interesting space, but not a small yard. Also, I don't have roos. The only problem is when I call them to come inside - they all come running when they hear the sound of corn rattling in a cup. Even then, they know who lives where and separate. You can see my set-up at www.HenCam.com
  5. Quote:I do not have a rooster with the "big girls" only the d'Anvers. My main concern I guess is safety for the little ones. I don't want them chased off into the woods and possibly spend the night in the trees too afraid to come back.
  6. Quote:We have a 2.5 acre parcel which is almost an acre cleared and the rest is woods and trails. I would think that they should have enough space to be civil to one another. My layers are very docile anyway. I have never had fighting between them so I hope they don't start with my d'Anvers.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Oh, I think they'll do fine in that regard [​IMG] My two flocks (bantam/LF) each stayed to themselves at first. They're just now (over two months later) starting to hang out somewhat together.

  8. Quote:Good to hear! I do not have any issues with the d'Anvers getting mixed up with another roo as I only have hens in the other coop. Although one has taken over the man duties, LOL!
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    With a rooster only with one flock, it makes it a lot easier.

    I pretty much agree with Teach1rusl. When they first mix, they will possibly have some pecking order issues, which I would expect to be mostly chasing and running away when the flocks get together. You can help that by having different feeding and watering stations available. But with the room you have, that problem should be minimal.

    It will be interesting to see how that little rooster does with the bigger hens. I would expect the two flocks to stay separated most of the time, including going to their own coop at night for a while. But that rooster will probably want to mate with the layers. Whether they let him or not will depend some on his maturity. Sometimes older hens can be pretty brutal to an immature rooster, so that is the main thing I'd look out for. But I've had 15 week old roosters that the older hens loved. They are living animals so anything can happen.

    Eventually, when they all mature, you might see them mixing quite a bit and even going to the same coop at night, but I would not expect that to happen for a while, if ever.

    Good luck with it. There are always the possibility of problems, but I think the odds of this going pretty well are really good, mainly because of your space and the separate coops for them to sleep in.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:I have a three-year-old bantam roo with my LF flock. I've been really surprised that he hasn't attempted to mate my bantam girls (they are 17-19 weeks old), and one is even of his breed - d'uccle. I'm wondering whether he'll try after they've begun laying [​IMG]

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