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Merging flocks and possibly adding a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by silkensunlight, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. silkensunlight

    silkensunlight In the Brooder

    Hey all.. I have two flock in separate runs that are right next to each other. They've been that way for about 6 weeks. They interact at the fence and everything seems ok so far. I want to join the flocks together so they can share areas so it would give them both more room. I've also started free-ranging for a few hours in the afternoons, but only one flock at a time. I tried adding hens to a flock before and my established flock killed the new birds, so that's why I'm nervous. Should I expect any major problems? Have they had enough time to sniff each other out? I was thinking free range time might be the best time to let them truly mingle. Should I just take down the fence separating them?

    I'm also thinking about adding a rooster ( I don't have one right now) for flock protection. I want them to free range more but I really worry about predators since we have a lot of fishers, foxes, coyotes and so on. I have young kids who love my girls but I don't want the kids attacked by a rooster. I was wondering how hard it would be to introduce a rooster to 37 hens. The girls are all between 30-40 weeks old. Any advice..I don't want any more unintentional blood on my hands. Thanks so much.

  2. ChickenGirl22

    ChickenGirl22 In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2012
    I haven't merged many flocks, but I merged my two flocks together at first when they were free ranging. They all talked through the fence first and they all got along just fine. The breeder I talked to about the merge said she puts them together at night when they're ready to be put together. Also I suggest adding some roosts or stumps where they can get away from the others if needed. I think adding a rooster would be best to do after the merge of the two initial flocks, but I haven't added another rooster to my flock. I hope they'll get along better this time.

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