Technically she’s still a pullet but an egg should be coming any day. I have two 20-24 week old girls, two 12 week old Brahmas and two 10 week old Barnevelders, all looking like females. The 4 younger ones had been separated within the covered run for weeks before I tried to introduce everyone while free ranging. Nasty Hen (NH) will not get over it and leave them alone. Any time they are within eyesight, she’s on it. My other hen does pick and chase when they come near but nothing like NH. I understand the Barnies are probably too young but the Brahmas are her size and particularly upset when she goes after them. I had wanted to integrate them first and wait on the smaller two but they seem a little more confident in a group of 4, and none of them wants to be locked up anywhere with NH.
The run is 70+ sq. feet and I have 3 sources of food and water, plus some wood leaning up against a couple walls for hiding spots. 30 days of rain has delayed the 4X8 “proper” coop but it should be finished this weekend. In the mean time they are under the playhouse, protected from the elements/predators and get 4-6 hours of free ranging every day. If it’s raining too hard for them to come out, I still open all the doors so they have the choice. The chicks always stay in their area unless NH decides they need to be chased out of it.
I understand the pecking order will have to be reestablished every time they are separated and put back together but this has been going on for weeks and I don’t see an end in sight. A few times I swapped the areas and put the big girls in the smaller section where the chicks go but the other hen needs to get to the nest box. Should I try putting NH in there alone when they aren't free ranging and let the nicer hen work it out with the chicks? The other option is to remove the Barnevelders from the equation until they are older but I’d like them to stay friends with the Brahmas.