Seperating the new chickens didn't work - now what?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by calicokat, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    I was doing ok for the first few of days keeping 4 new chickens apart from my flock of 6. The newbies stayed in the run, the flock got the coop. When I let my flock out to free range, I'd open the door between the coop and run so the newbies could check it out. Well, Tues. night, I couldn't get the newbies all out of the coop. One wedged herself in a tight corner that I couldn't get to. So, I let her stay for the night.

    Nobody died, but I think she did some talking to her three friends, because last night I couldn't get all 4 out of there at one time so I could shut the door! They were on the perches and wanted to stay. I'd get one out, and another would slip through the door while I was putting that one out. SHeesh! Meantime, my flock is at the outer door squacking about "let us in, darnit, it's bedtime mom!!"

    So, I caved and let them all roost together. Of course this AM, no one wanted to cooperate and go in their segregated places for the day. So they are together. The run is 8 x 20 and the coop is 8 x 8 - so lots of space. My hope is that since they are all older, no pullets, and it's 6 on 4 (old girls vs. new girls) that there won't be any bloodshed when I get home. The one I worry about most is a scaredy cat Ameraucana, but she can run FAST and wedge into tight places. (If she were a child, I'd swear she was abused as a toddler! She YELLS when I just touch her! This one won't be tame for a good long time.)

    Do I need to keep trying to seperate them? I don't personally know the farm they came from, but they do appear to be in excellent health, aside from 2 coming to the end of a big moult.

    Also, how long before I could let the 4 new ones out to free range and expect them to come back to the coop to roost for the night -- I wouldn't want to lose any of them!
     
  2. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I just put 7 new hens (8 mos. old) with the 14 hens (1 yr. old) I already had. I just threw them all together in the run. It was quite a site for an hour or so. There was all kinds of squawking, chest butting, and pecking going on. Then it just gradually settled down. It's been about a week now and everything seems to be normal. For a few days I did have one Black Sex Link want to stay in the coop and up on a roost board. She just wouldn't come down. After a few days I saw her out eating and drinking. If I was you, I'd just put them all together and give it a little time. They will figure out their social ranking and go on with their chicken lives.
     

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