Mixing Flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by maizenation, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. maizenation

    maizenation In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2017
    Hi, I currently have a flock of 9 birds and a flock of 11 teenage birds. My older birds are about a year old and considerably bigger birds. Before winter hits here in New Jersey I would like to combine the two flocks how should I go about this task
    The Angry Hen likes this.
  2. Haihai

    Haihai Chirping

    Jun 15, 2017
    Do they free range?
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! After a week or longer next to each other, in view, let them out to free range together, and go back to their 'home spaces' at night. They will gradually get along better, and can then room together, although they may remain as distinct flocks for a very long time. Mary
  4. I am in the process of doing this as well with a flock of 20 Chickens with my adult chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl.
    I have been letting them free range together during the day and at night bring the youngsters in then back out come morning. Here in another week or so the youngsters will be spending the night in the coop with the larger flock, once I rehome the 2 trouble makers, a turkey and a chicken.
    Haihai likes this.
  5. Haihai

    Haihai Chirping

    Jun 15, 2017
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    How old are the teenagers...did you get them as chicks??
    Where have they been housed in relation to the flock?

    Here's some tips:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:

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