will my two flocks ever get along?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nancyrae, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. nancyrae

    nancyrae Chirping

    Apr 30, 2013
    We are new chicken parents! Loving every minute of it! We have put our younger flock together with our older flock. Basically, everything seems to be going well. Everyone is still alive and no one is bleeding! Everyone is eating and drinking and continuing to grow. But will they ever get along? The older ones are still showing the little ones who is boss. I want to pick up and cuddle on everyone, but as soon as I bend over, the older ones come running and chase away the younger ones. Is there something I can do to change the older ones behavior? THANKS SO MUCH!!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Time and space.
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I've got the same thing going on. Integrating five 18 wk. old chicks with 3 hens. They've been "together" - but separated by cage, fence, etc - since the chicks were about 10 wks. old. At present the hens are in our large coop and the chicks in a chicken tractor where the hens used to live. The tractor is at one end of the run, the coop is at the other end of the run. We opened them up so that they could co-mingle about a week ago.

    When we open the coop and tractor in the morning, the chicks run into the big coop and hang out there much of the day. The hens run to the tractor - attempt to eat all the food from the hanging feeder - and hang out in the tractor most of the day. They just change houses for the day. In the evening, the chicks then go back to the tractor and the hens back to the large coop.

    They do hang out together in the run at times during the day. One hen has been very mean to the chicks and the chicks are frightened of all the hens. Lot's of running and chasing going on. There has been pecking and one really nasty "fight" but no blood, thankfully.

    If I bring out any treats, I need to put them in about 5 spots as the hens will run to wherever I place the treat and attempt to eat all of it. I'm making sure the chicks get a share of any food but the hens don't make it easy. The hens are also getting FAT as they're trying to eat everything in sight to make sure the chicks don't get it!

    I, too, am wondering how long before the hens allow the chicks to be around them without getting run off or pecked.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There is always going to be a pecking order - even with birds that grow up together. They will never all be at the same level on the totem pole. Eventually those on the bottom will just give those at the top a wide berth.
    It is flock dynamics and worse when integrating flocks.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    This is where chickens differ from humans. The older birds will always tell the younger they're submissive. No, it won't go on forever, just give them time, but the older ones will always be the boss and won't hesitate to let the younger ones know it.

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