"teenage girls" of the chicken world, and just as annoying).
So far, the Old Ladies have been in the moveable chicken tractor, and the young 'uns started out in the permanent coop after the meat birds "moved out". (The meat birds moved into the freezer.) The chicken tractor is really a summer house. It would be too cold in there in the winter even for chickens, so the Old Ladies had to move in with the young 'uns pretty soon.
Putting two flocks together usually leads to WAR! They have to work out their pecking order all over again, so social unrest,
thuggery, gangs... all happen. Nice to know we humans are not alone in this universe. I've been putting it off, not wanting to do the extra work it takes to minimize the disruption.
Well, they did it themselves. Last night, I went to close the door to the chicken tractor, and only Boss Lady was on the
roosting bar, looking confused, like "Where did they all go?" They went to the permanent coop, and jumped right onto the roosting bar that used to be their favorite when they were young 'uns themselves! My smart ladies! So, I got Boss Lady out of the chicken tractor ("Aack! Don't! Help I am being murdered!") and put her in with her family.
The Old Ladies and the young 'uns had already met when I let both flocks out on pasture for the afternoon. Apparently, that was enough for them to work out who is boss - the Old Ladies. Now, how on earth did the young 'uns figure out that those four were the senior chickens, been here longer? It's a mystery.
So, the Old Ladies stepped up to leadership when it was time to share the coop for the winter, and "managed the transition". Some of the young 'uns did worry a little: They went to the window of the coop that is at chicken height, jumped on the
small rock outside the window and craned their little necks to see inside, checking things out and making sure the Old Ladies were not waiting to ambush them. Then one by one they went in. And this morning, everybody went out into their joint fenced yard peaceably. And the Third Chicken World War was averted by a bunch of Old Ladies who know how to acknowledge their own authority, and understand that there is enough for everyone. H'mmm....