Would a Roo help merge these flocks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Casey3043, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 6 hens that are two years old. This spring I built another coop and acquired 7 pullets as one day olds. I kept them separate until they were 17 weeks, then took down the separating fence and let them all go together. But they don't! I thought there would be a couple of days of squabbling and then peace and friendship. Well, it's been three weeks, and we have made no progress. The hens chase the pullets and won't let them in their coop or run, but they go up to the youngsters' yard and eat their food. If the pullets go in the big girls' run and try to eat in there or check out the nest boxes, they are chased out immediately by the first one who spots them. The pullets stick together and are always within a few feet of each other, where the older ones scatter widely. At night, each group goes in its own coop. I have furnished nest boxes for the pullets inside their coop, and so far none has laid an egg. The big girls have not ventured in there either, thank goodness.

    So, where do I go from here?

    I have no roo at this time. Would one help put an end to this feuding? I kind of want one anyway (I love hearing them crow) but was hoping I would get an "Accidental Roo", you know, a pullet that wasn't! That would have made the decision for me! Chicken, I know! I don't want to borrow trouble. Am I better off without one? I don't especially want to raise baby chicks and get MORE roos that would have to be dealt with.

    Any opinions, help, etc. would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  2. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think adng a roo might just complicate things.

    Maybe you could try taking your bossiest hen and confine her with the pullets for a week or so, assuming she doesn't endanger them. After relaesing them again she might heve bonded enough with the pullets to allow them to join the rest of the flock.
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yeah, I would not depend on a roo to help you. If they are not pecking or yanking to the point of blood, I would let them be. Make sure everyone has ample access to food and water, and places (roosts, platforms, cubbyholes, where they can run and get out of the way. Do they have plenty of room (at least 130 sq. ft?) If so, it will just take time, I know it is hard to believe they will someday get along...keep us posted on the progress!
     
  4. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think they have plenty of room. All day they are free to roam a 60 X 150 ft fenced area---my garden which is kaput for this year, and their yards which also have some vegetation. Opening gates combines the whole area into one. There are many dust bathing spots, 4 watering stations, and two feeders. Plenty of hiding spots among the tall weeds and gone-to-seed asparagus and okra. I did chop down the corn a while back.

    When I give out treats, I take two portions and try to divide them, and it's a problem to make sure the pullets get some, what with the hens gobbling theirs up and then bullying the pullets away from theirs.

    I want to build an addition to the hens' coop and put the pullets in there this fall, but I'm beginning to think it's not going to work out.

    Just wanted to add---no serious pecking nor blood drawn. The pullets are the same size as the hens. They are now almost 20 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Ga.
    They will probably come together on their own as the younger pullets mature. Til then even a Rooster will not pull them together although he will when they are older. A rooster will definitely give some organization to a flock of hens. (I should add "a good rooster") My rooster gives protection to the weaker hens around the food, and clucks if they fight with each other. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think they're fine too... maybe take up all feed except a central feeder on neither group's 'turf' would help things, but does it really matter that they are currently a little stand-offish?

    Are they always going to be housed seperately? Or did you build the second coop for additions and isolation and/or breeding seperation pourposes? If you want them all to be housed together for the winter... just do it! If there isn't any serious pecking/fighting, well, they'll work it out.

    If you do combine them, put them into the 'new girl's' enclosure... but again, is it really necessary?
     

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