putting two flocks together

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nephtis, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Nephtis

    Nephtis New Egg

    Dec 28, 2011
    I have 4 warren hens at one garden and 4 black orpingtons with a cockerel at another garden. I've recently become the proud owner of an allotment. It has a huge shed which will make a wonderful chicken house, so my plan is to bring both flocks together. I am unsure how to go about the move. With it being new to both flocks ... neither already owning anything as it where, would that make things easier or will i still have to segregate?

    My only other concern, my warrens have never lived with a cockerel and I know my bossy head chook there will most def get her beak pushed out.

    Any advice gladly appreciated

  2. lynnR

    lynnR Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 25, 2011
    Foula, Shetland
    A piece in one of my poultry magazines says that 2 flocks of the same size being put together are unlikely to merge into 1.

    Merging the flocks will depend on the vacination background of your birds. If some have been vac'd they may be carrying the disease which may kill any that haven't been vac'd for the same diseases.
    If it was me and it was safe for the birds to do so vac-wise, I would put 2 of your Warrens with the others and wait til the find their place in the big flock then add the last 2. That is if you want to keep them together.

    My 3 ISA Browns hadn't been with a male before when I borrowed a friends buff Orpington cockerel. He was very sweet with them and they were equally sweet back. Some cockerels are over-lovey though and can terrorize new hens quite a bit if they're not used to it.
  3. Nephtis

    Nephtis New Egg

    Dec 28, 2011
    Thanx for the reply lynn,

    All my hens are from the same supplier and of the same age, vaccinated at the same time only I hadnt enough room to keep them together until now. I will take your advice and introduce my warrens two at a time.

    I will no doubt be back to ask more questions in time. [​IMG]
  4. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    If the shed is going to be new to all the chickens then I would put them all in together at the same time. It will be neutral ground for them all so there shouldn't be too much pushing and shoving (other than the normal pecking order stuff). It will be absolutely fine and your cockerel will be a happy boy! Good luck!
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Birds that free range together will eventually get to know each other.
    In my experience mixing like numbers of birds works better. Otherwise the minority birds get picked on. That's not a lot of birds so you could try just putting them all on a roost together at night and see what happens in the morning.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    My advice would be the allow them visual contact, through a dividing netting, for a few days. Then, integrate outside for a few days of shared ranging. When the bossy activity dies down, take down the dividing netting and allow them to be one flock. It works itself out. Make sure you have enough roosting for everyone. There is always contention over the highest rung. Also make sure you have adequate feeding and water troughs. Again, not enough space at feed and water is a place of contention. Chickens politics is rough, but they work it out.
  7. brownysfp

    brownysfp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Correze, France
    We try not to add outside birds to the flock too often unless we've seen ones we want. Normally we just promote as the chicks get older. The last outsiders, four Limousine hens, took weeks to integrate properly. They were quite aggressive in their "independence" and it wasn't until a young roo joined them that they joined the rest. Our flock roosts in four different coops and that's kind of how they keep themselves. This helps us too with balancing the hen-to-roo ratio per coop and group.
  8. Jerseychickens

    Jerseychickens Just Hatched

    Oct 24, 2009
    I have three four month old chicks which I am trying to introduce to my two three year old Ameraucanas. It is not going well. I had the chicks in a separated fenced area and the older birds saw them for two months in this fenced area. I finally decided to put them in the coop together, in the evening, and the Ameraucanas are not being too nice. Is this normal? And if so, how long does the pecking order usually last.
    At what point do I get concerned and remove them from the Ameraucanas. I even tried to free range them together and the older birds chased them and pecked them. Not a nice thing to see:(
    Need advice please:)

    thanks much!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by