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Two Free-ranging flocks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ravie, May 15, 2011.

  1. Ravie

    Ravie Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    Greenfield, Indiana
    I am wanting to add a second coop to my property so that I can have more laying hens. Egg demands are high! Here's my question: Can free-ranging birds be encouraged to use two coops? I figured I'd keep my new birds in the new coop for several weeks before letting them out to range freely. I don't care at all about the birds mixing. My concern is that they'll all use one coop and night and not use both of them. My current coop can't house more birds and I am afraid the picking will start if one coop is favored.

  2. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    I have several different flocks and want to keep them separate. So ... one group is in the goat pen. Then two other groups take turns ... one is let out in the morning, and then at lunch I go out, shoo them in with treats, and let the other group out until dusk.

    Works for us!
  3. Ravie

    Ravie Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    Greenfield, Indiana
    Thanks for the advice. They might be what I have to do. Though I am seriously hoping the birds would go to their OWN homes at night. Currently I have some adolescent birds which free-range alongside my main flock. The young birds haven't ventured out to the big coop yet and return to their own little coop at night. They stay together but have remained a separate group. I would love it if my newer hens could do something similar!
  4. ErinG

    ErinG Songster

    Sep 6, 2010
    I'm just guessing and basing this off of other posts I have read, but I'm pretty sure they will go back to their own coops. Creatures of habit! I would do a search to check other threads on this topic.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I have two flocks, two coops. They intermingle during free ranging. Sometimes the big girls check out the younger flocks coop, especially because the food taste soooooo much better in there (same dang food [​IMG] ), but they have never used the younger birds nestboxes. The younger birds are always invading the older birds coop, particularly to raid the feeders because the food is soooo much better there (yep, same dang food [​IMG] ). The only difference is, my younger hens will occaisonally use the older hens nestboxes. Guess what? The nestboxes are identical too. Same style, same nesting material, same brand of golf balls even.

    Come nighttime every one is in the coop they are used to, the one they grew up in.

    I'm about to face a big problem as I move one of my young cockerels from the coop he was hatched in to my other coop, to replace my older roo. I'm sure he will have to be hand carried to the coop each night and locked in to keep him from returning to the coop he's always known as home; at least until his little brain is retrained.

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