8 week old chick picking on older hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by montverdechick, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. montverdechick

    montverdechick Songster

    Mar 10, 2007
    Central Florida
    So, we have been letting the 8 week olds out of the coop and into the run during the day. We put the older hens into the yard and shut the door to kep them separate. The other day, I let the hens in with the chicks for the first time. The hens were not too interested or concerned with the chicks at first. But, the young girls started to peck at their combs and waddles. Then, they got upset and chased the chicks and pecked at them a few times. I want to let them all be together, but I am afraid that the chicks will harrass the hens and then get hurt as a result. Will they stop this behavior on their own? Any thoughts? Thanks.

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Eight weeks seems a bit young to be doing integrations. I usually start my integrations at 12 weeks and then finish them at 16 weeks when the birds are basically full-sized. The birds here usually spend about a month seeing and being seen without being able to touch each other. They get used to each others' presence before I toss them all together. I have very few problems doing it this way. There are still the inevitable squabbles, but generally no one gets hurt because there isn't a great size disparity. In your situation I would be worried that the older chickens may injure or kill the chicks because the chicks are still so small in comparison. I think I would hold off for a time yet.

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