1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Merging Flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Martlet, May 8, 2016.

  1. Martlet

    Martlet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2015
    This spring I built a larger coop to increase my flock from six hens to 12+. My six hens are probably just over two years old (I got them from a local CSA) and may even be three years old. They are still in the old coop. Last week I picked up a dozen new chicks and they are obviously still in the brooder.

    Of my older hens, one has a really poopy butt that won't seem to clear up, and one of them is missing most of her feathers (she has been missing them since I got her. I was told she was moulting, but they never grew back). I've looked multiple times for mites and haven't seen any, but I still treated with DE. These hens free range most days.

    In a few weeks I'll be moving the chicks to the new coop. They won't be allowed out for awhile until they acclimate. I'm hesitant to move the old hens in with them because I don't want to transfer any issues those girls had to the new coop. I also don't want to free range them together for the same reason.

    Am I over thinking this, or should I keep the old girls cooped up until the new girls start laying, then get rid of them?

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It would be a good idea to figure out what ails your existing birds and take care of it.
    You can get a fecal done here...http://www.midamericaagresearch.net/instructions.php
    Also post pics of birds and droppings in a new thread in the disease forum for some suggestions as to what may be an issue and what may not.

    One thing you can do to help the chicks build some immunities to your resident organisms is to put a small chunk of sod from where your existing chickens roam in the brooder with the chicks. Many folks start to do this after the first week. Put a fresh one in every couple days, the chicks will have a ball scratching it up.

    ETA: You could keep them separate until the chicks start laying then get rid of the olders. But even if you have a run for the chicks while the olders are free ranging, the chicks will still be exposed to what ever the olders have thru the air and both groups having contact with you.
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Martlet

    Martlet Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2015
    Thanks. I may send in a fecal sample when I get home. It's odd, since only two hens are affected and they don't appear to both have the same thing.

    I do have separate coops AND runs for each of them. I don't need to let them range.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by