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 two small flocks, what to do? & a question about rooster size.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken Bee, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Chicken Bee

    Chicken Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    1
    104
    Aug 29, 2009
    Long Island
    So, the new coop is nearly done, and we're planning to merge two groups of chickens together. One group consists of 6 hens of various breeds, and the other is 2 EE hens and 1 EE rooster. What's the best way to introduce them? They've been separated, but have been able to see/hear each other. They'd also be moving to an entirely new space. Would it be okay to just throw them all in together and hope for the best?

    Also, one of our hens is a hamburg. She's much smaller than the others. She's probably only about a third the size of the roo, if not smaller. Will she be okay? The roo won't crush her will he? Or is he more likely to ignore her and stick with the larger hens?
     
  2. Thortherooster

    Thortherooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    185
    0
    109
    Jun 10, 2009
    CA
    i would just throw them all in there and hope 4 the best, but that is just me....
    the tiny hens should be fine, my roos are pretty big compare to my sicilian buttercups and they are fine...
     
  3. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    merging at night has always worked for me. the birds vision is very poor in dark or low light.
     
  4. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

    269
    3
    131
    Apr 4, 2009
    Arizona
    I just recently merged my two flocks. They consist of 10 hens in one and 2 hens and 5 pullets in another. They are in coops that are attached but separated by a door. At first I would let them all loose in the yard to free range together and would occasionally see an attack between them (the 2 hens in the small flock were new), but it did not take long for them to get to know each other and get along. I now leave the door open between the two coops and they interact 24/7, however what is cool is they go to the roosts in their coop on their own as if they separate at night and get back together in the morning.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    19,543
    2,580
    446
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This write-up gives great advise for merging flocks. I highly recommend it.

    Buff HooliganÂ’s Adding to your flock
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    In your case, I'd probably throw some type of food on the ground between the two flocks so they eat next to each other a couple of times in the next day or two, then let them range together. Moving them to an entirely new space at the same time before one group can get territorial about it should also help the process, but you are never completely safe when merging flocks.

    Chickens have to set up a pecking order. It is how they are able to get along relatively peacefully in a flock. Establishing this pecking order is not always peaceful however. I've seen the recommendation to put them together at night as it seems to help and many people think it is the best way to go. Sometimes it seems to work and sometimes it does not. I guess it is possible that they are so concerned with eating, drinking and pooping when they wake up that they don't worry too much about the pecking order, but how do they know which one gets to go out the pop door first or gets to eat first and such without the pecking order established? Sometimes the pecking order is easily and quickly established, sometimes it is pretty violent. Maybe when it works, the pecking order is established before the human sees it being established so they don't know anything happened. My preference is to merge them in as large a space as possible so they can get away from each other before serious damage is done, but I also like to see if it is going too violently and if I have to intervene.

    Different things work for different people. Good luck whichever way you decide. Remember people successfully merge flocks all the time, so your odds are pretty good, especially if you read Buff's article.
     
  6. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    11
    168
    Sep 7, 2009
    Wesley Chapel FL
    Quote:I was hoping to read how to introduce two roosters to the same pen, both have their hens, doesnt look like it will work out, I wont be putting them through all that stress now. Thanks for the info. -Nathan
     
  7. Chicken Bee

    Chicken Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    1
    104
    Aug 29, 2009
    Long Island
    Thanks everybody! And that link was very helpful. I want this to go as smooth as possible, which I know is hard with our feathered friends sometimes, but I will do my best.
     
  8. CDennis

    CDennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    636
    0
    151
    Apr 1, 2009
    Idaho
    I need to merge 3 hens with my two toms, they get along fine but the hens keep jumping the fence and going out on their own, I would like them to stay in the pasture with the toms. Any suggestions?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by