separating and reintroducing?

Driftless Wisco

Hatching
May 4, 2020
3
0
9
Hi Everyone. First time poster.

I live in a city where we're allowed 5 hens. We got 9 straight run chicks of various breeds and they're in a small-ish prefab coop + run in our garage.

Like many people, I'm currently breaking the law with 9 while I decide who can stay and who can go.


They're six weeks old. What I have:
Gold Lace Wyandotte Pullet, this was the only sexed variety available.
2 Olive Eggers. Pretty sure I have 1 of each.
2 Marans. Pretty sure I have 1 of each.
2 bantam mixes - Pretty sure I have 1 hen for sure. The other is black silkie mix and I just can't say yet.
2 Salmon Faverolles- at this point I'm leaning towards roosters. They were light for quite a while and now pretty black. So either they're roosters or bad quality.
My thought was once I have the main coop built (finishing it up in the next week or so) to move everyone that I think are pullets in... keeping the suspected roos in the other coop until I know for sure. The suspected Maran and Olive Egger roos are getting kinda mean towards the black bantam and wyandotte. Really grabbing onto the backs of necks and kicking.

I'm also building a tractor run to range them in the yard. Could I combine the two groups to range and then separate everyone at night so the hens can establish their ranks and nobody gets over crowded? Or is this too much mixing and separating?

I've seen some people do this with tractors inside larger pens but thought I'd run this buy the panel of experts first :)

Thanks in advance!
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,540
502
NW Oregon
You won't establish pecking orders at night for day time (only roost order).

Every time you free range them together, after separation, they will need to re-establish pecking order. So I would either separate the aggressive ones now, and re-home them, or integrate and let the pecking order work out while you figure out things. If anyone gets too aggressive, well that's a vote out of the flock.

Marans and Marans based Olive Eggers often telecast gender very early (large combs that redden early), so I bet you do have a good idea who your roosters are of that group at this point.

Also, Salmon Favorelle do not usually stand up well in a more aggressive group, being a pretty docile breed, though males would be less likely to be run over. So another reason why constantly re-introducing them could be problematic during the day time as the Favorelles may get a lot of re-hazing.

However, having said ALL that...the best way to integrate a new flock is to let them roost separately at night and free range together during the day with their choice of where to roost at night. Usually in a few days you see the groups have settled the flock order and roost fairly evenly divided between the two places.

My thoughts.
LofMc
 

Driftless Wisco

Hatching
May 4, 2020
3
0
9
Also, Salmon Favorelle do not usually stand up well in a more aggressive group, being a pretty docile breed, though males would be less likely to be run over. So another reason why constantly re-introducing them could be problematic during the day time as the Favorelles may get a lot of re-hazing.

This is another reason I suspect they'er roosters. They get picked on the least by the Maran and Olive. They'll stand up for themselves but they don't instigate. The Maran and Olive go after the ones I I suspect are hens.

I picked out the lightest chicks, no black on their wings. They stayed light for a solid two weeks but they've been getting darker and darker. Still quite a bit of brown on one for them, but black chests. The combs are also on the more pink side. So given I can only have 5 I think the two roosters and the two salmons are going to be rehomed and we'll have to see what happens with the black bantam. That one isn't causing any problems, so fingers crossed!

Thank you for the advise!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,744
130,759
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
The suspected Maran and Olive Egger roos are getting kinda mean towards the black bantam and wyandotte. Really grabbing onto the backs of necks and kicking.
Does this happen while ranging or when in the smallish coop/run?
At 6 weeks you should be able to tell the males by redder and larger combs and wattles.
 

Driftless Wisco

Hatching
May 4, 2020
3
0
9
Does this happen while ranging or when in the smallish coop/run?
At 6 weeks you should be able to tell the males by redder and larger combs and wattles.

Both in the coop/run and when out ranging.

What threw me off with the salmons is that they didn't develop any dark feathers for 2 weeks. I've seen posts of hatchery/bad quality pullets and mine kinda look like those. But I need to rehome 4 anyway, so I'd like to make a decision in the next week or so.

My only other wild card is the black silky mix. I'm leaning towards hen based on behavior. I don't see much wattle development but it is hard to tell due to the coloring.
 

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