Agressive Hen


6 Years
Jul 16, 2013
New Mexico
I have two hens that are over a year old and they get along quite well. I also have two six week old pullets, they are living in the house in a brooder right now. I have been taking the pullets outside for little field trips to introduce them to the yard, the coop, and the two hens. My laying hen is very aggressive when she sees the little pullets and attacks straight away. In two weeks I would like to be able to move the pullets outside permanently but I am really worried about their safety. What should I do? I would hate for my hen to kill one or both of my pullets. The coop I built is just large enough for four birds but I am really nervous to lock them all inside of it...Help!!
Chicks should be integrated with hens when they are about the same size, especially if closed up in a coop together. What I would recommend is that you get a dog crate (little cage) and put inside the coop. Close your chicks up in there with food and water for the night. You can put up a little temporary run with some chicken wire for them with shade, food and water to keep them separate from your older girls outside for daytime. Just put some bird netting over it if you have hawks. The temporary run wouldn't be predator proof but will keep the hens from attacking.

There is a HUGE difference between a 6 week old and a 10 week old, and a 10 week old vs. a 14 week old. The difference is that they will eventually get better at standing up to the older hens. It can be fatal if they just take the pecking.

The absolutely ideal age for integration is 16 weeks, but depending on the temperament of the older hens, you may be able to get by with it beforehand.
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thanks so much! I think I will wait two more weeks to see if they get any bigger by 8 weeks and then try doing what you have suggested. We have a small dog crate that I think will work well for them
It's just not ideal for me to have them to stay in the house any longer than 8 weeks, you know. But I am talking to my husband about building a chicken tractor. If we can build a nice sized one then I will let the smaller pullets live in there and just move it around the yard so that they can get some more exposure. I will feel better about letting them free range with the older hens when they are bigger and have had more time outside.
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