BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › How do I introduce my baby chicks into the coop without them getting peck by my other chickens??
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do I introduce my baby chicks into the coop without them getting peck by my other chickens??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi I am new at this, any advice will be helpful. smile.png Thanks!

A few days ago I tried to introduce my new 2 baby chicks, 5 weeks old, to my 2 older chickens, 15 weeks old. Things didn't go exactly as I would have liked. The older chickens kept trying to peck the baby chicks. I sat in the chicken coop 1-3 hours for about 3 days now. Been guarding them. The baby chicks like to hide and scream for their lives. sad.png I gently push or use a rolled up paper to shoo the older chickens away and say no. Is this ok to do? Because the older chickens are not used to me touching them so they would actually go away....but only if I or the baby chicks are not near them. The first time I placed my baby chicks on a roosting bar next to the others, the older Delaware chicken next to it pecked the baby chickw. sad.png It was just to test it out. I was trying to slowly introduce them to the coop and older chickens. The baby chicks still stay in the house, maybe in two weeks I will move them out to the chicken coop fully. I don't know if I am doing this right. Everytime I bring the baby chicks out for a bit I would bring a snack for the other two hens so they are distracted. Any advice would be helpful??!!

Also, the other day I let the two hens out of the chicken coop to get access to the side yard...it was kind of hard getting them back in!!! Cus they would run away from me. Any advice on that???!!! And I want to keep them protected from predators so I don't want them put all the time. At the same time I gave my baby chicks the opportunity to roam around the chicken coop when the older chickens are out, the baby sucks were still scared though. hmm.png The older chickens loved being outside of the coop the first time, just hard getting them back in.


A lil info on my chickens:

I have two baby Ameraucana chicks, 5 weeks old. I got them at 3 weeks. They are living inside my house right now in a box with a heat lamp. My friend told me that we can take them out to live in the chicken coop when they are 7 weeks old. They are so adorable and still trying to get use to me.

I have a chicken coop build for about 4 chickens. There are two older chickens living there now, 15 weeks old. 1 brown leghorn and 1 Delaware. I got them when they were 13 weeks so they are not fully used to me yet. I give them treats, like apples, and they eat from my hand but still won't let me hold them. All are hens, and none lay eggs yet.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Opps there are some typo. Sorry. Please excuse them.

Meant to say, "... when the older chickens are out, the baby chicks* were still scared though...."
post #3 of 9

I am interested to see what kind of responses you get.  I have been wondering the same thing.  I have six 8 week old Leghorn hens and two 4 week old SLWs.  I was hesitant to introduce them at all - but did a few times when they were in the brooder.  The babies got pecked a little bit, and squealed out so I separated them right away.  I am thinking the brooder was too small in the first place {the hens went out permanently the next day}.  I think this may have been why there was any pecking in the first place.

 

However, I have not reintroduced them at all.  I want to give the little girls a chance to grow a little more first. I am also a little leery of the introduction, as I don't want any drama!

 

I have been reading a lot on it in several places.  I have heard several suggestions:

1. put them in the coop, with a fence between so they can get used to seeing each other

2. put them in at night while the other hens are roosted, and when they wake up they will already be there

3. keep sitting with them and observing/resolving the drama.

 

My older hens seem quite curious of the babies, but I am still waiting a few weeks.

 

I may suggest {don't take it as a golden rule because I am a rookie too} to wait until the older hens are a little more used to and trusting of you first.  You may have to bite the bullet and wait a little while longer, as to save having drama in your coop.

 

Hope this helps :)  Patience...a hard thing! :-)

Happy wife, teacher & coach.  Proud Mommy to two dachshunds: Piper & Bella, 6 nameless Leghorn hennies, and two sweet SLW girls: Millie & Louise.

Reply

Happy wife, teacher & coach.  Proud Mommy to two dachshunds: Piper & Bella, 6 nameless Leghorn hennies, and two sweet SLW girls: Millie & Louise.

Reply
post #4 of 9

How do I introduce my baby chicks into the coop without them getting peck by my

I do small side by side outdoor times in a free range area: the girls are curious, but I keep them at an arm's length from the chicks. I probably will not full integrate the chicks for another 2 weeks, though.

My SS grabbed a chick by its neck feathers in February and attempted to carry it off. She's feisty, but it taught me to have a healthy dose of caution.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yeah I placed a small box or an item between them when I take the baby chicks out to roam a bit. The baby chicks are still scared though. I'm hoping that over time, they'll get used to it. Yesterday, when I was standing outside the coop watching, the older chickens were laying down in one corner and the baby chicks on the other side of the coop. They were at peace for about 10 mins. I had to leave the little box between them still though. And I'm planning to leave them out a little longer each day, with my supervision of course. I'm thinking about leaving the baby chicks in the house in a big box for the rest of this week and one more week after this. *Cross my fingers*
post #6 of 9

You will never introduce new chickens into your flock without some pecking going on, that is just the nature of chicken life.  They have to establish a new pecking order. Even in an established flock there will be some pecking and squabbling from time to time.  To minimize the damage done by the pecking in my experience I have found it works best to wait until the new chicks are close in size to the older chickens (usually around 16-18 wks) and have stopped making the baby peep sounds.  Up until that time I do keep them side by side in seperate runs, but even then you will get some pecking through the wire.  Once you do introduce them to the same run provide plenty of hiding places for the new ones to take cover and provide several feeders and waterers so that everyone can eat without getting attacked. 

Enjoy the simple things in life, which are often free. There will always be crowds of other people spending money they don't have on things they can't afford in pursuit of happiness that continues to elude them.
Reply
Enjoy the simple things in life, which are often free. There will always be crowds of other people spending money they don't have on things they can't afford in pursuit of happiness that continues to elude them.
Reply
post #7 of 9

Yay - I successfully put my chicks into the coop today! They are about 9 weeks and I have 2 full grown hens. 

 

My girls are free range "part timers" and I've been letting them out together for a week or so. Also letting the little girls into the run when the big girls are out. And today I put them in the coop for a little while. 

 

Today I had the little girls in the run and the hens came back in. I guess my older hens must be pretty mild mannered because there was a few gentle pecks but otherwise they all got along fine. When it got darker the hens were on the roost and I put the chicks in and shut the door. And they are now all on the roost! 

 

I've been stressing about this. But seems like it has been a success. 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nova022 View Post

You will never introduce new chickens into your flock without some pecking going on, that is just the nature of chicken life.  They have to establish a new pecking order. Even in an established flock there will be some pecking and squabbling from time to time.  To minimize the damage done by the pecking in my experience I have found it works best to wait until the new chicks are close in size to the older chickens (usually around 16-18 wks) and have stopped making the baby peep sounds.  Up until that time I do keep them side by side in seperate runs, but even then you will get some pecking through the wire.  Once you do introduce them to the same run provide plenty of hiding places for the new ones to take cover and provide several feeders and waterers so that everyone can eat without getting attacked. 

How do you feed  the newbies their Start n Grow and the older gals their Layer feed when they're integrated without each group eating the other's feed

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajlynco View Post

How do you feed  the newbies their Start n Grow and the older gals their Layer feed when they're integrated without each group eating the other's feed

I don't normally introduce my pullets to my established flock until they are the same size which is about 16-18 weeks or later.  Usually around this age it will not hurt them to start on layer food. They are close to laying at that age and need the calcium to get their reproductive system ready for the stress of egg laying.   If I were to introduce them to the flock before this age I would go with a grower or grower- finisher and serve the oyster shell on the side for the layers.  They will eat what they need of the oyster shell and those that are not ready for it will ignore it. 
Enjoy the simple things in life, which are often free. There will always be crowds of other people spending money they don't have on things they can't afford in pursuit of happiness that continues to elude them.
Reply
Enjoy the simple things in life, which are often free. There will always be crowds of other people spending money they don't have on things they can't afford in pursuit of happiness that continues to elude them.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › How do I introduce my baby chicks into the coop without them getting peck by my other chickens??