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New to chicks and everything was fine until I introduced new 5 older hens to our 2 months old chickens in their coop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We are new to the chicken keep but have done some research and got some advice as well. We build a new spacious coop with Nipple system and PVC feeding system. Got new chicks that were 2 weeks old and we started. Everything was fine we had 7 chickens. One night a racoon got in the coop and killed my favorite gal. So we were down to 6.friend of mine heard and offered me a free chickens. 5 older (2 yrs old) hens. They are black and red sex links. Our Littles are orpington. My friend just said putput them in the coop together for a week and they will figure out the pecking order. Well after 4 days of absolute terror my poor Littles look sick have diarrhea and are terrified of the old hens. The old ones won't let them drink or eat. My Littles only cower in a corner all huddled up. The old ones haven't yet figured out how to drink out of the Nipple system so they were without water for 3 straight days and it's 90 +. I finally put a tub full of water for them in the coop. I have also started on day 2 letting ours go in the run so they can eat and drink in peace. I have read somewhere that if hens bully to put the bullies in a separate brood box. So we did. We put the worst 3 in the brood box. It's a see through box and it's in the coop. I am worried of the outcome. Help or I just may have a 5 orders of chicken soup.
post #2 of 9

Welcome to BYC :frow Glad you joined us. First of all, at 2 months, the youngsters are too young to be put into a coop with older chickens and expected to fend for themselves, I disagree with your friend there. The best way forward is to keep the youngsters separated, but in sight of the older hens until they are bigger, at least for another month. As for the watering… put bowls of water down, as back-up, until they have sussed out the nipples. 

 

Here's some more reading that may help you:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/687158/teaching-chickens-to-drink-from-nipple-waterer/0_30

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

 

Best of luck!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #3 of 9

:frow and :welcome

@Eli1977 I am very sorry to hear about your chicken that passed away :( I can understand as raccoons have taken a couple of mine. Well its sounds like we have a little bit of a dilemma here! So what I would suggest going along with sumi is that you should NOT keep the little ones near the older ones. Right now my flock has 6 chickens 4 of which are 3 and a half months and 2 are 13 months. What happens in my flock is the older ones are a bit dominate of food and the younger ones are not afraid, but do not stand up to them. I would suggest keeping the younger ones in isolation from the older ones for at least a month and maybe a couple weeks after that. Then you can introduce them again, and by then they should be close to same size and the older ones should respect them and take them in. All the best of luck and follow those links and I can guarantee if you are able to do this your restaurant will be all out of chicken soup which is always good on here!

Justin :thumbsup

post #4 of 9
Hi welcome-byc.gif

Glad you could join the flock! I'm sorry to hear about your raccoon attack and all the trouble you are having right now. I too agree with Sumi that they are too young to be with the older hens. From what you have described they sound pretty down in the dumps with serious stress. I would get them out of there ASAP so they can begin to recover. Days without water really is not good.

Please do check out the links left for you, I'm sure you will find them most helpful.

Good luck with your flock fl.gif
post #5 of 9

Hello there and welcome to BYC! :frow

 

I agree with everybody here. Babies this young are very fragile and even an accident can mortally wound a small chick. I like to wait until the chickens are at least 3 months, if not 4 months of age. Chicks need to grow in size, strength and mental prowess to be able to deal with and outsmart older birds.

 

And when you do mix in older chicks, ALWAYS put out more food and water stations as the older flock will guard these areas and literally starve out the babies. Chicks can actually die of starvation in a flock with only 1 food and water station. I like to at 2 more when adding chicks, you can remove one of these later on once they get worked into the flock.

 

Good luck with your flock and we do welcome you to our flock! :-)

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

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Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. ~Emily Dickinson~

 

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~John Bunyan~

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop                                    Raising Quail

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

 

Leg, Foot and Toe Issues in Poultry of All Ages

Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all sweet cluck friends. It seems impossible to divide the coop and so I remembered that we have an old tractor coop that became a hiding place for our dog. I will try to clean it out put some fresh hay and herbs in nesting box there and a delish scraps and scratch with molasses in it hoping the big ladies will like it. It is near the house so watering will be easy until they figure out the Nipple system. Any ideas if the young chicks will recover? And should we let the old hens graze once they get use to new place?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Update on the bullies. They are in the tractor coop and everyone has gone bedy byes for now our great pyrenees dog was really excited to have friends but not sure how long will that last we are going to keep the gals in there indefinitely at least until the others grow up some.thank you all very much for advice
post #8 of 9
Nice to meet you Eli, Welcome to Backyard chickens.

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                                         Please visit  "Current Movies - Thumbs UP or Thumbs DOWN"pop.gif

                                                           Movie  reviews    & comments -   welcome                                                 

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post #9 of 9

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

If you haven't noticed yet, I am the king of typos.

When I post in the "What Breed Or Gender Is This" section, I do not name hatchery/peoples' hybrids by a "breed" name (for example, Oliver Egger)--they are either a purebred or a mixed breed.

Please like my NEW facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BantamFan4Life-571978982974734/

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bant...

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If you haven't noticed yet, I am the king of typos.

When I post in the "What Breed Or Gender Is This" section, I do not name hatchery/peoples' hybrids by a "breed" name (for example, Oliver Egger)--they are either a purebred or a mixed breed.

Please like my NEW facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BantamFan4Life-571978982974734/

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bant...

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