Moving old hens into coop with new hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by samuels, May 13, 2008.

  1. samuels

    samuels In the Brooder

    Sep 10, 2007
    I have 5 hens from last year (one year old) which I would like to move from their small coop to a new one I built. The new coop has 35 hens just 2 months old now. All the birds are mixed brown egg layers. When could I do this move and any tips on how to avoid problems? Thanks---you guys are always sooooooooo much help to me. Larry
  2. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    Is the old/small coop portable? If so I'd put it next to the new one, so the chickens can see each other and interact through the wire.

    If the old coop is not portable, your best option is to rig some kind of tempoary chicken wire enclosure next to the new coop, or even sectioning off a part of the new coop. Your goal is to let the chickens have maximum interaction with each other while still being protected by wire. After 2 weeks or so of this, then let your old ones go in with the others, loose, and keep an eye on them.

    If your hens are still larger than the new ones, they're size will balance out how few there are, and you should have minimum fights. But its a tricky thing to do, because one group will almost always gang up on the other. Whether that is full grown hens picking on the youth, or the crowds of young ones picking on the few elders.

    Good luck!

    PS: another thought. At the point that you let them all loose in the same enclosure, take 1/2 dozen of the young'ns and switch them to the small coop for a week. That will disrupt the pecking order of the main flock, and give you older hens more of a chance to find their own places withing the larger flock.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    What about putting older bantams in with young full-sized chickens? Now that we have a coop, I hate keeping the bantys in cages but I'm afraid to put them all together.

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