First off I know that many people have made posts like this because I read through them, but I feel that my situation may be more unique than others so decided to ask the pros directly.
Here is the scenario I am facing. We have a very large fenced yard that is well maintained with two vegetable gardens, flower gardens, etc. We have two chickens that have the chicken pen that are almost two years old. We also have two chickens, that I will refer to as the chicks, that are just old enough to start laying their eggs that have a makeshift wire coop and dog house that was thrown together for them. The chickens and the chicks are let out to wander the yard at will during the day, but even now stay separate at night. All chickens are Golden Sexlinks.
Roughly two months have gone by doing this, but a problem has emerged. At first, the chicks would keep their distance from the chickens, and would usually be found at opposite ends of the yard. However, lately I have been finding the chicks huddled in a corner (a place where there is no food i might add) some place random just laying there or just standing there! I figured something was up, so yesterday I spent a good amount of time watching them out of the windows, and then i saw it! When one of the chicks would find something good to eat, the chickens would fly/run up to them ASAP, at which time the chick would go into the terrified "OK IM SORRY" stance of lowering its head all the way to the ground, and standing there petrified while the two chickens would peck at its head continuously. When I witnessed it, I had time to run down the stairs, get my shoes on, and run out there the entire time the chick was getting abused. At the time I was very angry, and gave the "alpha" chicken a hard enough kick to give it a limp. That was enough to send that chicken into hiding for the rest of the day, but later I witnessed the same thing between the second chicken and one of the other chicks!
The problem is that eventually I need to get them all in the same coup with proper behavior. The chicks are just as big as the chickens now, and of the same species but they are TERRIFIED of them, probably because of the pecking. When I go out to scatter scratch for them, the chicks get chased off if one of the chickens even comes close. I do not have time to sit there and play rooster with them, and must find a way to get them to coexist without any suffering.
Am I doomed? Am I doing anything right? What should I do next?
Edited by slek - 7/7/10 at 6:23pm