I've tried that FarmerMac. I have a two story coop right now. The established flock occupies the upper floor, the lower floor I used as a nursery/broody coop. It has it's own little run inside the main run that allows a broody hen and her chicks to go outside when they are ready. Aggie went broody on me in February, not exactly spring time in Missouri, so we had to provide extra heating for momma and babies when they hatched as the temp was still dipping in the 20s at night and Aggie was sitting under the light with the chicks under her until they were about 3 weeks old. She stayed with them till they were 4 weeks and then she started laying. End of broodiness.
So the juveniles have been in full view of the main flock since they were 6 days old. I started finding that they had flown over the 4 foot chicken wire that I am using for their run last week and figured it was time to start merging the young with the old. Everyone, including the young cockerels are feathered out now and the Buff O/Welsummer cross pullets are about half the size of the adult Welsummer hens.
I took the fence down and placed the cattle panel section in front of the door so the youngsters had someplace to escape to and it seemed to work ok till I discovered the injured pullet and noticed that the juvies were afraid to come out of the coop.
I'm thinking now that either I missed something or I just need to wait till they are about 12 weeks and try again when they have some size on them and can peck back if they have to. I just don't want to see any more injuries and I'm kindasorta wondering if the Welsummer hens are just more aggressive then the Buff O hens.
Dani4Hedgies, that is a great idea. From the start we have noticed one of the junior roosters hanging around the babies more than the hens and when they were just a week old one of them got out of their pen and immediately ran up to his father and Daddy offered a piece of corn that he tidbitted for it. It was so cute to see this little chick looking up at this big rooster as if it was saying 'Are you my Daddy? and daddy standing there patiently bent over, picking up and dropping this piece of cracked corn for the chick to see.
I think we underestimate our roosters some times.
Edited by microchick - 4/28/16 at 7:58am