Chicken from different runs free ranging?

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chuckmum

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Chicken from different runs free ranging?
« on: January 27, 2010, 17:45 »
How do chickens who live in different runs get together when free ranging?
I have a happy little flock who live in a cube, but that itch for more hens has been surfacing and I am debating getting a eglu for a couple more. If I housed these separately would they fight if they were free ranging with the others, my feeling is yes, but I have never kept my flocks separately.
My main joy of hens is watching them rampage my garden digging up the borders and dust bathing in my pots! I don't think I would want more if it meant that they couldn't do this. Any advice welcome from equally chicken mad folk!  :D

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treacleminer

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Re: Chicken from different runs free ranging?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 18:18 »
I would be surprised if they actually fought, but you may find that they moved around in little gangs to start with, maybe getting more mixed up as they got used to each other. 
I recently introduced my new younger chicks to the older ones by letting them free-range together during the day and separating them (self-separating) at night, but now they all go to bed together.  They still tend to stay in their group during the day.  You may eventually find them all crammed into one hen house! (cue even more chickens??)

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lucylou

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Re: Chicken from different runs free ranging?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 19:51 »
hi chuckmum! i started with a coop and run and have 5 girls in it. i added another coop and run for 3 more girls. both coops and runs are close enough for all hens to see each other and comunicate.  they remained like that for a couple of months and then i let them roam around the garden together and as treacleminer says - they initially stayed in their own gangs but then started blending together and returnmed to their own coops at night! we now have a very large enclosure that both coops and runs are inside. the girls are out together every day and behave as one flock..but funnily enough return to their own houses at night! - they dont care which nest boxes they use for their egg laying though!  :D

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hillfooter

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Re: Chicken from different runs free ranging?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 20:03 »
Chx are territorial so provided they haven't established their territory you won't have a problem.  The above two posts are fairly typical of what will happen.  Provided that the free range area isn't the natural territory of one flock that you then add another to they are unlikely to fight.  They will eventually completely integrate and may well try and occupy the same house rather than go into their own house.  Effectively both houses will be regarded as home and they may just use one or both indiscriminately.

HF

Truth through science.

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Bonniebean

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Re: Chicken from different runs free ranging?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 16:27 »
The breeder I bought my girls from has 5 coops and they all freerange together but return to their own coops at night.



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