New Coop Layout? HelP!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tackyrama, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    I have a new coop soon to be ready for the chickens. My problem is I have three age groups of chickens all hatched this summer. Will I need three separate areas or will it be WW III if I put them all together? They are all free range but will be in at night. Please help!
     
  2. shadowchicken

    shadowchicken New Egg

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    Aug 25, 2008
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    No expert here, but from what I have read you want to keep them apart till their all full grown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  3. Suess hens

    Suess hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they all separate now where you have them? If they are separate I would keep them separate but able to see each other until you feel they are good together. If you have them together now, just keep them together.
     
  4. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The three groups are separate. When the second group was old enough to leave the brooder I tried to put them in with the first group, NOT! They all free range during the day so the little ones can stay out of the way when the big ones come around. At night group 1 is in the chicken tractor, group 2 I put in a converted rabbit hutch. Group 3 has the honor of being first in the big new coop. Soon they will all have to be in the main coop for winter and I don't know how to work it. Anybody?
     
  5. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    So they range together, they just sleep separately? If that's the case, they're already getting used to each other. I say a few weeks before you decide is the absolute cutoff for having everyone in the coop, put two groups together, let them all adjust for a little bit, then add the last group when you have to. They already see each other and are familiar, so the usual let-them-get-used-to-each-other-through-the-fence period is already in play. Expect some pecking and rank establishing, but as long as it doesn't draw blood, it'll be fine, and is completely normal.

    Anyone else have thoughts to the contrary?
     
  6. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your replies Heather. I take heart from your advice. It's mainly the oldest group that worries me. They seem downright mean if not evil. Even the hens chase the other groups but if the two roosters catch any of the other birds it is not pretty. I hope it goes as well as your advice would indicate.
    Stan
     
  7. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the rooster's being mean to the other chickens, or is it normal mating behavior(which does tend to be rather rough, sometimes)? So far my roo doesn't seem interested in my pullets, but they're a long way from laying yet, so I don't know if it's because they don't have the hormone levels yet, or because I simply haven't noticed him mounting them. I do have hens he stays plenty busy with, however.
     
  8. tackyrama

    tackyrama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The roosters are being mean to all the other younger chickens not yet laying. None of the hens are yet laying. Even the oldest hens are being mean to the younger ones. This behavior happens at all times during the day but mostly right after sunup and at dusk. The two youngest groups get along fairly well. Are the oldest ones an exceptionally mean group?
     

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