8-week-olds went to bed with the big girls -- do I let them stay?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TMecklenborg, May 17, 2011.

  1. TMecklenborg

    TMecklenborg Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I have two 1-year-old hens (Norska and Teckla) and two 8-week-old pullets (Dragon and Phoenix). The hens have a coop with a 7' x 7.5' enclosed run attached. The pullets have been living under the coop (inside the run) in an old dog crate since they moved out of the brooder. I've let all four birds out into the yard a few times over the past week or so. They're fine in the yard, because the little guys stay well away from the adults, but if they're all loose in the run with the door shut the little ones get cornered and there's blood.

    This evening they all went to bed in the coop -- the little ones settled in on the good spot at the very top, then when the big guys came in they chased the little ones off. Dragon left the coop, but Phoenix stubbornly took over the lower roost, and Dragon eventually came back in to join her there.

    Do I let them stay there or do I move the little guys down to their crate before I go to bed? My options as I see it:

    1. Move the little guys. Everybody's safe, but maybe I am missing an opportunity to get them properly integrated, which would be awfully convenient.
    2. Leave the run door open overnight so if the big girls get testy in the morning the little ones don't get slaughtered. We're pretty urban, and I've never seen evidence of anything but cats visiting the yard, but this still makes me nervous.
    3. Close up the run, leave the coop door open, and hope for the best.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. pixiedouglas

    pixiedouglas Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I'd let them stay sounds like they are to the integrating part.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    No blood being drawn? Let em work it out.
     

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