New Coop and New Girls

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by saltnprepper, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. saltnprepper

    saltnprepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two 16 week pullets in a coop right now. Tomorrow I am having a new coop and two more 16 week pullets from the same place I got my original girls from 4 weeks ago. I will have two coops for a week, then I have a buyer for my old coop.

    I am wondering a few things. If I put the coops next to each other with the runs next to each other then the new birds will get to know the new coop and will they establish a pecking order that will just be disrupted and have to be reestablished again once I move the existing chickens into the new coop with the new chickens in the new coop?

    The old coop is smaller than the new one.

    What should I do?
  2. saltnprepper

    saltnprepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    New Coop

    Old Coop
  3. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2011
    Lawrence, KS
    My Coop
    I don't have chickens just yet, but from the threads that I've read - I'm thinking that you will want to quarantine the new girls for a while before even putting them side by side of the others. I wouldn't risk them bringing in an illness. Putting the pens close together for a few weeks would be good and i do believe that they will still go through a pecking order establishment once they are all in the same coop. Someones gotta get the prime space! lol
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Change always disrupts the pecking order. Change of location means new territory, must establish new pecking order. If it's the same birds, they get things established more quickly than if it was a different group. However, every bird added or removed from a flock will create the same circumstances. So, new coop will trigger it, and more birds added will trigger it yet again.

    But it IS the Chicken Way. It's sometimes painful for us human folks to observe, but the chickens gotta go through it. It's not unnatural or mean behavior to them - it's their Society Rules.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You can see my thoughts on quarantine in this thread. In your situation, I don't consider the risk too high but they are yours and you can certainly do what you wish.

    Your situation is a little unique in that you are adding a small but equal number of chickens that are the same age. And you have facilities to do things.

    You have two types of agression to worry about. One is that chickens are flock animals but they recognize which chickens are in their flock. If they see other chickens they don't recognize as flock members, they may try to run them away. This is not that much of a problem usually, even if you just throw them together, but some chickens have the personality that it can be a problem. This is where you can benefit from housing them side by side for a few days. They get used to each other's right to exist and this is even more likely to not be a problem.

    The other is the pecking order. I agree with Gryeyes. It's how their society is organized. They will determine where they rank in the pecking order. Occasionally this involves serious fighting. Usually it involves some pecking and running away. As long as they don't draw blood, I don't consider it a big deal.

    Sometimes they go through these processes and it goes so smooth you wonder why you even worried. Occasionally, but pretty rarely, chickens can be seriously injured or even die, so there is some risk. Most of the time, there is some pecking, maybe but not necessarily fighting, but overall it goes pretty smoothly. Just don't assume that a little pecking is a national disaster. It's not.

    In your situation, I'd probably house them side by side for two or three days, then put then all in the bigger area. Provide two separate feeding and watering areas for a few days, just to help cut down on potential conflict areas. They are living animals and you can never tell exactly how they will react, but I'd kind of expect you to be OK.
    1 person likes this.
  6. saltnprepper

    saltnprepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you, I think that is what I will do. Then I can have the old coop all cleaned up and paid for. It is paying for half of the new coop!
  7. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I wouldn't over think it. If you want to put the coops side by side that's fine, but I wouldn't hesitate to just throw the hens together and let them figure it out.
  8. FeatherPainter

    FeatherPainter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Northern New York
    I totally read your post wrong, I thought you said you had 16 pullets and were getting 16 more for that little coop, whew, I need to read better.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by