3 week old chicks with 8 week old chicks.....can someone help??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by beslick, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. beslick

    beslick New Egg

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    Apr 22, 2012
    So we originally purchased four baby chicks and decided to add two more on after the guy at the feed store told us it would be no problem to integrate them into the flock, especially since they are all young hens...well, we started taking the two little ones out for about 10-15minutes, rubbing them together with the older ones and kind of standing around to watch what the older ones were going to do....they are not nice, they pecked and almost jumped on them and certainly would not let them into their coop....are they ever going to except my two add ons? What can I do differently or what am I doing wrong? Help! Thank you!
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    It is normal for new birds to be bullied. Only let them out together when you are around. If you could free range them together, that would be best because of the increased amount of space and more things to do. Try putting pennies in a can and shaking it whenever they start chasing each other.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    At the present time there is too great a size difference between the two groups. As the younger chicks get larger, introduce the others to them one at a time over a period of a week or so. This MAY make the integration go more smoothly, but there will always be some pecking/fighting. It's the peckng order - chicken society is not kind.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a way. Outside in the pen, you need something for the smalls to run into or hide under or behind to get away from bullying.

    I like the "panic room". It's any kind of enclosure where the entrances are big enough for the smalls, but too small for the older ones. At this age, they double in size every week, so you have to keep enlarging the holes. It can be a smaller pen rigged in a corner, or a pet crate plopped in the center.

    Another thing you can try is to cut a few tree or shrub branches, leaves still on, and toss them in the pen. Like bass in a pond, this gives the smalls cover.

    In the coop, you will have no choice but to partition it until they're all the same size. I actually saw the need for this with my earliest batches of chicks, and got out my tools and built a separate entrance for them, in addition to the partition down the middle. If you have only one entrance, the older ones will prevent the smalls from going inside at night.

    It's a whole lot of trouble to integrate chicks so close in age, as well as smaller chickens to an older flock, and it's why people keep them separate until they're the same size. But it can be done with determination, planning, and a lot of refereeing.
     
  5. beslick

    beslick New Egg

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    Apr 22, 2012
    Thank you so much, lots of great ideas and I have hope that it will work! I am quite attached to my youngest two! Thanks again for your time!
     

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