Multiple mobile coops in the same fenced area

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by katvdh, May 9, 2016.

  1. katvdh

    katvdh New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Hi all

    We are about 1.5 years into caring for both broilers and layers and one thing that we have discovered is that when we have multiple mobile coops spread across multiple fenced areas, our work is greatly increased (doubled if we have 2, tripled if we have 3, etc).

    To try and combat this, we are wondering what will happen if we put two coops in the one fenced area? Specifically, at night will the chickens naturally split between the two coops, is there going to be differences in behaviors between the broilers and the layers?

    We could just make a larger coop, but we are at the edge of what we can manually move by hand, plus we already have a number coops and don't want to replace them.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They might eventually coop together...but if just one coop of broilers and one coop of layers...could work good.
    The layers may stimulate the broilers to forage more...and the broilers will be gone before too long if you're doing CX.

    Differences in ages could be an issue tho....like broiler and/or new layer chicks in with older layers...might have to split fenced area.

    Just some thoughts.
    Welcome to BYC!
     
  3. katvdh

    katvdh New Egg

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Thanks for getting back to me. I'm just wondering what would happen with 2 coops of broilers that are the same age, would they naturally split between the two coops at night? Or in another case 2 coops of layers around the same age... again would they naturally split?
    Thanks!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not totally sure as I haven't done it myself but....
    They will naturally roost where they are used to sleeping...so they will most likely go to their 'home' coop when first brought into the same place.
    At first you may have territoriality/integration issues...and eventually they may all try to jam into one coop.

    Not sure how still using 4 coops but 1 ranging area will reduce your chores tho.
    Maybe you're looking at going to 1 feeder and 1 waterer?

    How long are you growing your broilers out before butchering?
     
  5. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    before landlady sold this house out from under us, we planned to do 3 mobile coop/pen combos inside one electro netting
    However our birds were NEVER going to be loose at all FAR too many predators land/air/big/small here for free range to work as thing other than a wildlife cafeteria
    The lectro net was to keep predators away from the coops not keep the birds in
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  6. katvdh

    katvdh New Egg

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    @rottlady What did you expect to happen with your setup (we are in a similar situation that out multiple coops will be in the one electro netting setup - made of 3-4 fences)? Did you expect that they would naturally split and what did you plan to do if they didn't?
     
  7. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the birds were never going to set foot out of their mobile pens (coop with run attached on wheels.) so no chance of mixing. 1 breed per coop/pen.
    Any chicken that is outside a solid coop/pen here will die. My neighbors lost more than 20 in a month last year and some of those were in their pen (but no top)

    We were going to have the mobile coops with attached pens (all on wheels) with 1/2" hardware cloth and solid roofs on pen/coop and the lector net surrounding all 3 coops. The only way to keep chickens alive up here and even that is not 100% guaranteed with the bears (1 of which climbed my front door not long ago)
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Whenever I need to change pens for any of my birds, it's always a big drama time. They're powerful creatures of habit and don't like change. So, if you start Flock A out in Coop A, that's pretty much where they're going to sleep, forever. There has to be a pretty compelling reason for them to switch.

    Case in point, I currently have a grow out pen with layer pullets and CX. They've only been in that pen about 3 weeks, if that. But they know it's where they sleep. The last few days I've been ranging them with the main flock, cause that's where the layer pullets are going to move. When I go out after dark, each group is in their own coop. I know when I move the pullets to the main coop there will be lots of fussing and complaining and I'll have to lock them out of the grow-out pen or they'll be right back in it.
     

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