Should neighbors combine flocks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by stinkysneakers, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. stinkysneakers

    stinkysneakers Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all! So here's the situation: I have a flock of 25 comprised of the lead rooster at almost a year, three three month old suspected cockerels, and 21 definite pullets of various ages between seven and two months. Right now ours are penned up in a 12.5 by 25 run and sleep in a locked coop at night. I'm keeping all of mine contained this way until at least the first of the year until everyone gets older and well integrated (just added a few new members). After that I might let them out for a few hours daily to free range in our two acre yard and surrounding woods, still locking them up at night (predators are a BIG problem in our area). Our neighbors have a fully free range mini-flock of just a rooster and a hen. Ever since we added seven new seven month old pullets last week, the neighbor's rooster has been coming over to "welcome them to the neighborhood" multiple times every day. He's never far away with his hen in tow, always bringing the girls snacks which he somehow tosses them through the fence, doing the "rooster dance" around anyone standing near the fence, clapping his wings together loudly, drowning out my lead rooster's crows, and trying to have kicking matched through the fence with my big guy. Someone in the neighborhood has a prowling cat that has been doing his darndest to figure out a way to get at my birds, and every time this happens it's the neighbor's rooster, not mine, (*sigh* what a deadbeat) who warns my girls to run to safety while he sends the cat packing. All of this has gotten my pullets super confused about who's in charge around here and who they should be listening to.

    So my idea is this: We have enough hens for two roosters (we're going to eat/rehome the three cockerels, whichever comes first). I'm not comfortable letting my flock become fully free range and roost in the trees like the neighbor's pair does. Should I extend the invitation to my neighbor's to integrate their duo into my flock as "boarders/roomates"? The "rent" the pair pays would be their roo's protective attitude (he's a game cock who kicks [bleep] and takes names) and genetic diversity (my roo is a Dominicker) in exchange for the "room and board" of sleeping in our coop and eating our feed. I'd also make sure the neighbors' got an egg-a-day out of the deal since their hen would be tagging along with him and that's why they got chickens in the first place. Having a roo like him in our flock could be a Godsend when mine are ready to go out free ranging -- we have raccoons, possums, cats, dogs, coyotes, hawks, owls, skunks, chupacabra, Big Foot, you name it, that are just jonesing for a chicken dinner.

    There's a language barrier -- I don't speak Spanish -- but if the folks next door were up for it, how do you think this would go? Their roo is pretty much already ruling his roost and ours and my roo acts like he's fine with being the beta, so the integration process might actually be pretty smooth. Has anyone out there done a "neighborhood flock" type thing? Did it work out alright? What was the process like? If any of y'all have tried combining flocks with neighbors, I would love to hear about the experience and any advice you have for me!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If you combine flocks, you will have one surviving rooster, and it will be the gamecock.
     
  3. stinkysneakers

    stinkysneakers Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the word of caution. Not going that route then! What kind of chickens do you keep?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do they speak english?

    I would not be happy having the neighbors chickens harassing my chickens in the run...not sure what I would do about it tho.

    If you plan to free range at all...there's probably going to be rooster problems.

    Best of luck figuring it out, sorry I can't make any viable suggestions.
     
  5. stinkysneakers

    stinkysneakers Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more concerned I am about free ranging them. My Dominicker rooster is pretty chill. He would probably back down if push came to shove, but I'm worried it will be a blood bath, this guy is so aggressive. I hate to ask the folks next door to restrain their bird especially since they speak don't speak English, but I also don't want my birds trapped in the run continually. I'm in a pickle. If anyone has chicken related conflict resolution experience and or Spanish fluency, I am in need!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Man, that's a tough spot to be in......they have just one hen for their rooster, so he wants your hens, Geesh.

    Hard to tell someone to keep their birds off your land even when you do speak the same language.....and there may be a cultural clash as well.

    Can you grab their rooster, put it in a crate and somehow tell them they need to keep it confined?
    You could eat it and not say a word, but they'r probably just get another one.
     
  7. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't speak fluent Spanish but...When you see them you could do some semi-cherades. (i've had to do this many times it's about 50% successful haha) Point at the chickens when they're harassing yours and say something like, por favor no pollo (poy-o= chicken) It literally would me no chicken please. Sadly this is what I got out of 3 different spanish classes hehe
     
  8. stinkysneakers

    stinkysneakers Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe getting them another hen or two as a gift would help Casanova curb his enthusiasm and get some good will going with el neighbors too. Let's hope we don't have eat him! Maybe a couple pops with my brothers automatic airsoft gun would encourage him to move along. Last time I went to a culturally Hispanic country, there were people's chickens roaming freely everywhere, sometimes with roosters on leg leashes staked into the ground to keep them from being at each other's throats.
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. stinkysneakers

    stinkysneakers Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe the first few times they go out I could let them do so in a supervised, more controlled way. I'm thinking let them out and hang around in the yard with them, airsoft gun (maybe slingshot; my aim is good) in hand, ready to intervene if things get ugly.
     

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