2 older hens, 2 newer chicks. Choas in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WitchChick, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. WitchChick

    WitchChick In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011
    We have two hens, a Buff Orpington, and a SLW. They are about 1.5 years old.

    We got two more Buffs, who are almost 5 months. They are big now, so about 4 days ago we began to "integrate" them into the coop from the dog kennel that they were in. We extended the coop run before we introduced, so there is plenty of space. They range a few hours each day together in the back yard. BUT, my old Buff is a tyrannt!!

    The old Buff constantly chases them and pecks at them. She will not let them in the coop at night. Last night I went out, and the two chicks were huddled in the corner of the run. I put them in the house, and they settled in the nesting box. My old hen was bickering, but did not attack them. She did this morning though. Now they are all in the coop, but they are separated, old hens on one side, new chicks on the other, separate water & food.

    I am posting a pic of the coop right before we were done. You can see we added a run, that is where the chicks are now. The back is solid, but there is really no shelter. Should I build them some kind of box to sleep in and keep them totally separate? Will they ever go in the house to sleep/nest? It is not too cold here yet at night, but it will be in a few weeks.

    Plus, all that bickering is surely getting on my neighbors nerves...live in suburbia.

    Thanks for any advice (I have been told to just let them peck, and freeze, and that the chicks will eventually make their way up the ladder into the house, to establish pecking order.)

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  2. hens4thehudds

    hens4thehudds Songster

    Jul 7, 2011
    San Marcos, California
    Having the same sort of issue, i hope someone responds:)
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Partitioning the coop for them, if it is a wire screen, will give them all the idea that the young ones belong there. So after the free range keep putting them in the separate area for a week or so, then you should be able to remove the separation. I would make a temporary roost rather then a box for them. They might eventually find their own way in if you did leave them be, but they also might just stay in the run.
  4. WitchChick

    WitchChick In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011
    Thank you, Den in the Pen. That is what we did. Update below.
  5. WitchChick

    WitchChick In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011

    We separated the chicks with a partition in the coop. They go outside to range together, but the older hens gave them a beating even then.

    At night, when the older hens got on their roost to settle down, I opened the partition. The chicks eventually made their up into the coop. They are not allowed on the roost, but at least they were warn...they slept in the nesting boxes.

    In the morning, the squawking begins! It is that agitated "Get out of my house!!" squawk that starts on the clock as soon as the sun comes out enough for them to see. Then the chicks drop down, run on their side of hte coop, and I put up the partition.

    Now, in the last few nights, it has happened several times that I have gone out and one chick was GONE. She had wriggled her way through the partition and gone up alone :). Or, they both stomp on it long enough for it to fall. They are definitely wanting to be up in the coop at night.

    This morning, I left the partition open. Right now, there is some grappling, but it seems that it is getting less and less. The chicks are about as big as my older Buff now too.

    Let's hope that there will be peace soon!

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