NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Chickens, 2 flocks into 1  (Read 1171 times)

whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Chickens, 2 flocks into 1
« on: February 04, 2010, 09:04:33 am »
As you may know I have 9 Marans (7 girls and 2 boys) who free range and 15 Warrens (all girls) who are in a HUGE run... I'd like to use the Warrens' house for my imminently arriving ducks but that means allowing them to free range and hopefully share with my Marans...
Is it as simple as just opening their run, them seeing all that lovely fresh grass and the cosy shed? Or will they take their sweet time over moving?
I know there may be pecking order issues but they're all aware of eachother and I've had a few escapees with no altercations. I'm hoping the boys will keep everyone in order.

My plan is to remove a section of fence from around the Warrens' run and at the same time shut their hut door.
I'll then carry their food and water to the Maran shed (of course they'll all follow me) and hope they all get on well. If some Warrens do go back to their hut should I herd them towards their new home or should I let them ease in gradually?

Advice and opinions as always would be apreciated.
Voss Electric Fence

Hardfeather

  • Guest
Re: Chickens, 2 flocks into 1
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 09:44:50 am »
You may find you'll have to spend several days/weeks picking hens from the old shed and depositing them in the new, at roosting time. Shutting them out will only result in them sleeping on the doorstep, or roof, and they'll be in danger of death by foxes.

Hens are very environment conscious. Like sheep on the hill, they can be hefted to one particular area, and they will always find their way back there after a days' foraging. They know there way about their range, and are very loath to change roosts.

The two lots may get on well enough in the open space of their paddock, but hens which are strange to a shed will be reluctant to enter when the established birds are already inside, due to the confines and the unfamiliar pecking order. They will take time to establish a roosting order and may squabble lots with perch neighbours for a while.

If I am shifting birds, I always pen them in for about a week in the new area, so that they are obliged to go up to roost in the new shed. Even then some may just keep going back to where they were.


whitby_sam

  • Joined Feb 2008
Re: Chickens, 2 flocks into 1
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 11:10:27 am »
Just put leg rings on the Warrens (except 1 who seems to have gone AWOL already) and caught one in the act of laying what appears to be her first ever egg. It was TINY, only slightly bigger than a pigeon egg.

On the other hand we had a HUGE egg the other day, easily the biggest egg I've ever seen. Probably twice the volume of a supermarket "Jumbo"

 

Mixed chicken flocks?

Started by ponylady

Replies: 8
Views: 1972
Last post July 22, 2015, 08:20:54 am
by devonlady
Keeping flocks indoors

Started by Stereo

Replies: 2
Views: 907
Last post November 21, 2015, 04:24:34 pm
by Stereo
Help! Advice needed,Neighbours Feral Cat attacking my flocks!

Started by Mel

Replies: 22
Views: 6848
Last post February 10, 2011, 06:40:20 pm
by Dan
Rescue chickens with existing chickens

Started by Part time dabbler

Replies: 8
Views: 1600
Last post March 13, 2018, 12:41:42 pm
by Part time dabbler
age to eat chickens

Started by rorsa

Replies: 3
Views: 3685
Last post April 17, 2008, 04:30:22 pm
by rorsa

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS