Question about merging 2 flocks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sab, May 8, 2011.

  1. sab

    sab Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    Scenario: I have 3 chickens and a duck - they live in 2 chicken tractors. Horrible arrangement for the winter months. So by the end of this month I hope to have a new 10x8 coop. Now - my niece is 'raising' 5 new birds to add to my 3. She gets them while they are chicks - handles them, get's them use to people and then when they are too big for the city they come to me.

    SO the ? is this --- do you think I will have just marvelous success at the older birds (they are only 1 yr old) accepting the new birds if I put them together for the first time in the new coop?? Will the new coop cause just enough 'neutral territory' and confusion to cause the 3 yearlings to accept the 5 newbies along with the new coop situation?? Just hoping someone will say "OH YEAH, that it'll work for ya!"
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Everyone says on here to not combine chickens untill they are all the same size and can defend themselves, but I'm just a newbie. I also have a yorkie, a golden doodle, and am originally from WV, now OH.
  3. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    we have had great luck with adding in the same coop but with a chicken wire partition so they can see each other, but not hurt. They seem to get used to each other and after a couple weeks we let them outside together. We do keep the younger ones still separated when cooped up together over night. When they are close to the same size, we will put them all together. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  4. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    I bucked traditional advice and put three large hens, 4 12 wk old pullets, and 2 16 wk old pullets in the same coop. The three groups came from three different places, and were basically all put in the new coop within one week of each other. I watched them VERY closely and was prepared to separate if necessary. I've had absolutely no problems. The big ones can be a bit "bossy" but have not mistreated anyone. I have multiple feed containers so I can be sure the little ones are able to eat without being run off. It's been a week and everyone seems to be "jam up" as we say here in Georgia. (That's a good thing, LOL!)

    I think as long as you keep a VERY close eye on them for a few days and are prepared to separate if needed you'll be OK. Not sure about the duck, never tried that!
  5. storeman

    storeman Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2011
    I had the same thought when I added 5 hens to my older 2 hens and rooster. May situation was a little different. My hen house and run was fine for 3 birds but not 8. I built a new house and run and put them in the new place at the same time. Not one problem occurred. My oldest hen was already dominant and she remained just that. I do think being introduced to a new surrounding helped keep things quiet but I'm no expert.!
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, re-organization of the established pecking order CHANGES every time a flock gets a new member, or the flock is moved to a new location. So, to lessen the amount of time you and they have to deal with pecking order issues, make the addition at the same time y'all move the original birds to the new coop. They're gonna go through it anyway, so the addition of new flock members would just be another part of it.

    Good luck!
  7. sab

    sab Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    Thanks folks.... this sounds encouraging. The chicks will only be 6 wks old when we finally get the coop done. I likely will hold off putting my original 3 chickens and duck in the new coop a month more so the chicks can get some age on them. The original 3 can stay in the tractors a little longer. And my plan for the new coop includes video surveillance so I will be keeping a close watch on the new party of 8 chickens & 1 duck.

    Pecking order. Funny thing is -- the duck is the head honcho in this flock. I don't think that will change with new digs. She tells them where to go when and they follow duck-duck everywhere. She's a pekin duck who thinks she's a chicken. Lays an egg EVERY day. And she's the boss lady. Doesn't have any attitude. She gently nudges the chickens to do what she wants. The 4 get along swimmingly. Be interesting to see how the newbies react to a duck boss...

    Eggcessive - want a couple of African Grey parrots?? I live near the O-WV boarder and go to Marietta often. Don't you just love that doodle??!!

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