Merging 1year with 3month- Advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by adlynch, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. adlynch

    adlynch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 9 1year old hens and a 6month old rooster that I am trying to merge with 8 3month old chicks. They have been in the same coop (but separated by chicken wire) since the chicks were just days old. The older birds usually free range all day but I have kept them in and opened the coop divider 2 days ago but they are still segregating themselves. They really don't pay each other much attention, but I can tell the younger ones are leary of the older birds. Any advice? I want to eventually let everyone out to free range, but I'm worried if I do it now, the young birds will be afraid to come back into the coop. Should I just give it more time, or are there any tricks I should know about? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    The group's will remain as separate groups for quite a long time and may always remain separately. When I start free ranging my young birds, generally 6-10 weeks of age they don't go far initially and they take a while before they start getting out farther. I always supervise them initially until I'm comfortable leaving them to their own devices.
     
  3. adlynch

    adlynch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm, I guess i was just hoping they would be one happy family :rolleyes:

    My fear is that if i let everyone out, the young ones may be intimidated by the older hens and wouldnt come back in the coop at night. :/
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I always round the kids up at night until they do it themselves as they often don't. It would be a bit different if one of your hens raised the chicks, as often those birds merge into the flock. Added birds stay separately mostly.

    It's similar to us humans. We hang with our own age group or we hang with our kids. We don't hang out with strange kids or strange older people, but with time we get used to them being around.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Even when my broody hen raises chicks in the flock, there comes a point where they are tolerated, but my young birds always remain a sub flock until they begin to lay... then they are a single flock.


    Mrs. K
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I find that when my youngsters merge with the older flock, the old folks go to bed before the teenagers do. (just like in my house!) Why don't you pick a day when you can be home all day, and let them all out to play in the late afternoon, and see how they do putting themselves to bed on their own. You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  7. adlynch

    adlynch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info! I guess I never really thought about them hanging out with their age group as humans would. Makes sense! I'm off all day Thursday so I'm gonna let everyone out and see what happens! :)
     

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