Re-organizing my flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mojavemike1, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. I have built a new chicken run and want to shuffle my chickens around.
    My main flock consists of 14 twenty two weeks old (run #1), of which I am transferring 5 to the new run and coop.
    My second flock of 7 eighteen weeks old (run #2) I am transferring 4 chickens to run #1.
    I now have 2 eleven weeks old pullets I am putting in run #2.
    Hope all this makes sense.
    Since the pecking orders are now messed up, do you think this will work itself out without having to do any separating, which is impossible at this stage?

  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Crowing

    Oct 23, 2014
    I would be concerned about putting the younger/smaller ones in with the older/larger ones. If I'm reading your post correctly, that looks like what your plan is. The younger ones tend to get picked on by older ones until they're all the same size.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    There should not be much size difference between the 18 & 22 week chickens.

    Make sure there are hide outs, and multiple feeders, and waterers and all that mix up might make it work fine. The 11 week olds are probably small, and will need something to escape to.

    Mrs K
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Is the 'new' coop/run #2.....or #3?

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water)..... any new birds entering any given territory will probably be met with at least resistance,
    and possible violence, by the existing population.

    The new coop/run might be an exception as (I'm assuming) no one has lived there yet, so new territory to all involved.

    Lots of space, multiple feed/water stations, places to hide 'out of line of sight' but not dead end 'traps' and/or up and away from aggressors are all necessary for a smoother integration.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

  5. New coop is #3 and has not been used yet.

    Thanks for the info.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

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