Will they every range together as one flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kara_leigh, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Songster

    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    I have 16 chickens. I got them in 3 different groups. My oldest and the first I got are 12 weeks old, and there are 6 of them. The next group I got are 6 weeks old, and there are 6 of them also. My youngest are 4 weeks old, and there are 4 of them. Still with me? lol

    The 12 week olds and the 6 week olds all free range peacefully, but they stay in two separate groups. They never range together, but they two groups will range side by side frequently throughout the day. I let my 4 week olds out for a little bit this evening and the 6 week olds came over and hung out with them for a bit. They got along well (I keep the youngest ones in a tractor in the yard so everyone can see each other) but eventually the 6 week olds went off on their own.

    Will they ever all range together as one flock, or will they always stay in separate groups?
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I have a mixed age flock and often see them hanging out in groups. However, the groups do change from time to time.
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Crowing

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Mine pretty much stay in their little "cliques", unless there is food involved, then they mingle. [​IMG] The groups do change from time to time. Occasionally a pullet will I guess get into a tiff with her group, and hang out with a different group for a few days until things blow over. But, for the most part I have a bantam(+1 bottom of pecking order BO) group, a large fowl group, a babies group, the wyandotte gang, and the ducks. [​IMG] Everyone seems to get along for the most part. My wyandottes are a little bossy, but my teeny silkie/game hen will quickly put the 3 of them in their place.
  4. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    While I don't free range mine, my neighbor does and they spend a great amount of time in MY yard. I have noticed they tend to hang out in trios, and strangely, tend to associate by color. No clue of that's coincidence or not, but the black ones are always together, the red ones are always together, regardless of breed. And they all separate quite a bit in these little trios. Some days I don't see some of them at all, other days they're all over the place.
  5. Marion565

    Marion565 Chirping

    I noticed that mne hang out by breed, weird... I have 2 Leghorns that seem to be attached at the hip and when my BO went broody my other BO would not leave the coop and stayed with her all day and all night
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I've wondered how this works when you have a roo. I have 3 older Buff orp girls, and now 3 black orps (one is a roo) who are only 4 months old. Will the roo eventually bring the older buff orps into his flock? Or does it sort of work out the same, where they are all "his girls" but still hang out with their separate groups most of the time?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  7. UrbanChickeroo

    UrbanChickeroo In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2010
    Quote:Mine, too. Flock dynamics are SO interesting to watch! It seems to me that if they aren't fighting, you don't need to worry about them becoming "one" flock.
  8. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Urban - I have many diff. ages that eventually came together...together in area but not together...started them this way as I read how to on BYC...hens roost in hen house (13 plus Roo) split the attached coop/run area in two --added 17 -10 week olds (all seeing each other) for the longest time...added 7 (6week old pullets to this group)....the little ones learned that they were not the boss..so all went well, they stayed out of the way (had 2 seperate feeders) .. in time opened the gate between hens and all in the other side of coop....they came out as they braved, sorta like one at a time .. one got brave then anothers said "well he didn't get KILLED" I'm going to and thats how they all free-range today......have 26 pullets in another part of yard, built a temp fenced area (bless the person who invented PLASTIC poultry fencing (not the red kind),1" squares, strong, strong, strong) anyway they are now FREE-RANGEING (in their own little section) right out there with everyone else like its just another day -- until one day I will remove the plastic fencing and life will continue....this has worked so well for me hope it helps someone else......G
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have sub-flocks as described by OP. Each is a mixture genetics (colors). Bonding appears based on being raised together in brooder or by same mother hen. Brooder can even over-ride age differences of two weeks. Sub-flocks maintain stable membership until adulthood when membership changes. I think voices at least as important as appearance when it comes to recognizing su-flock mates.

    Yhis years sub-flocks do frequently come together but birds almmost always closer to sub-flock mates than non-subflock mates. Last year sub-flocks had discrete ranges. Later cohorts will be encouraged to do same by having seperate roosting locations.
  10. joypeters

    joypeters In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    northridge, california
    i have one left from a group of three leghorns i got last june. (one died early, one was taken by a hawk). after the hawk, we had only one, so we immediately bought a fully grown ee, so there were two. those two are joined at the hip.

    this year we added two more, pr and a welsummer. they are only 2 months old.

    the older gals are EVIL to my little ones. we have two coops, and they won't let the little ones in with them.

    needless to say, they free range in two groups. [​IMG]

    hope they all get together~


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