Please help me figure this out!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by churchx3, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. churchx3

    churchx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Georgia
    My original flock consisted of 6 chicks and 1 roo. When they were about 8 weeks old I added 3 addl chicks that were the same size and age as the original flock. After a couple of weeks things settled down but the flock is now 15 weeks old and those 3 that I added at the later date seem to always be on the "outside looking in"....even at night on the roost those three are at the opposite end of the roost away from the other group. I also have a 2nd coop where there are 9 EE's approx 9 weeks old. I was thinking should I take those three loners from the first flock and move them to the 2nd coop in with the younger EE's in hopes that since the 3 are older and bigger they would possibly be accepted better by the younger group? I need some seasoned guidance on this as I do not want to make a mistake. This pecking order thing and status is really a big deal with chickens!
     
  2. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I have no idea if that will work, but...what will it hurt? Try it and see, then let us know how it worked!
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Actually, I don't think you need to do anything at all. The pecking order has already been established, and while it seems "unfair" to us that those 3 are on the periphery of the main flock activity (and roost bars), it's what they have worked out amongst their own society. I bet they'll merge a bit more as time goes on. They may always be lower in status, but they'll be allowed in closer, and they'll eventually feel more confident and move in closer, too.

    I have three separate "gangs" in my flock right now. The BIG chickens (8 months old), the Middle Chickens (17 weeks old), and the Littles (truly little; they're 4 bantams of 3 breeds about 10 wks old). The Middles pretty much hang out together, the Bigs are very independant, and the Littles scurry around on the outsides of everybody as a foursome.

    The Middles have their own coop, which I used for their integration/segregation, but they are starting to spend daytime hours up on the Big Chickens' roosts in their coop. And to come in and check things out as the Bigs all start to roost for the evening. You know those teens, they stay up too late! The Littles are checking out the Middles' coop during the day, but avoid the Bigs' coop. They go into their own night quarters by themselves.

    But more and more each week, the dynamic is fluctuating.
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I personally wouldn't move them. They've already established a pecking order where they are. I have several age groups of chickens. It seems that, when chicks grow up together, they remember their mates and hang out with them. So it's not a bad thing that they seem to be in their own little group. That's totally normal.

    Now, if it seems like they're not getting enough food or whatever, then it would be a bad thing. But don't worry that those three are alone.....they prefer eachother's company.
     
  5. churchx3

    churchx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
    Georgia
    gryeyes I believe you are the one who called my "cinnamon queen" a hussy earlier this week...she was none to happy when I told her what you said:D
     
  6. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    1You mean you have a Cinnamon that is a hussy too. So did I and C2 her daughter is turning out just like her.

    I agee with gryeyes, don't move them. My hen house has approx. ages 2yr, 18m,12m,9m, and 6m. The 8Week olds are in a brooder house next door and will move in with the main hens when they are 16 weeks. I constantly keep them rotating in and out. They will hang with their own brood, no mater what breed that is made up of. It isn't a matter of breed or even age, its a matter of testing each other and seeing who is the head matron of the flock. They will always move up and down the pecking order. It is constantly changing. Just like the Roosters favorite changes, thank goodness for the last favorite.

    The little jumping boards on the front of the nests, which I close at night, is where the new additions always end up at first while they check the situation out and finish growing out in the hen house. This time a new Roo will come in with his own young pullets, it should be interesting.

    Congratulations, your combining broods has been succesful. It doesn't always go that smoothly.
     
  7. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    oldchickenlady
    I have no idea if that will work, but...what will it hurt? Try it and see, then let us know how it worked!

    It can hurt a lot. I have not had much luck with EE's they have been my meanist. With only 3 even if they are older. They can atteck them or one of them.

    When I combine new pullets with the older, even new chicks with just 1 or 2 weeks older, I'm prepared to step in and make immediate changes. But sometimes you can't, its to late. Chickens are really and truely desendants from Dinosaurs. I have just moved them from one house to another. Thought everything went fine, went in the 3rd morning and there literally was blood everywhere and I had to cull one young NN pullet immediately to end her suffering. They were 3 different breeds (Sicilian Buttercups, NN and EE's), hatched together, brooded together.

    So. what can it hurt? Plenty.​
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Oh, I meant that in the NICEST of possible ways! Why, back in my younger days.... wait, the subject is about flock integration. Well, every flock needs a few hussy hens. Keeps the rooster happy! [​IMG]
     

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