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...and then there was the gang of 4

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Brookliner, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Brookliner

    Brookliner Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire
    So here I am with a broody hen and 6 chicks in the brooder part of my coop and 2 hens and a roo in the main part of the coop...enter the gang of 4. Four 8 week old bantam chicks ready to transition into the coop (cause I have to get them out of my familyroom before they start sitting on the TV). 1st I put them in a dog crate in the coop so that the 2 hens and roo could look them over and get used to them in what had been their space. This went well for a couple of days. The dog crate was really too small for them and one of the hens, Julia a cochin frizzel, has a long neck and kept trying to peck them through the sides of the crate. I then moved them out of the crate into the coop and Julia the hen that was pecking them I moved into the crate. I put some boards on top of the crate with their water and food on top. This was ok for a day. Julia the hen, took exception to laying her eggs in the crate and not in the nest box and went nuts. So last night I put Julia back into the coop (without the crate). This morning the gang of 4 that I had left on the roost last night (Julia wouldn't leave her nest box) were sitting ontop of the large water fount with Julia hot on their heels or should I say feet. So I made a shelf in the coop to hold the gang of 4 and their water and food (out of the reach of Julia). The roo and the other hen flew up to check it out without pecking the gang of 4 who by this time were cowering in the corner of the shelf waiting for more pecking. Fortunately at this time Julia can't fly since she is in the process of moulting her large wing feathers and therefore has to stay on the floor of the coop. The gang of 4 have now taken over their shelf and are again eating and drinking. I have given them electrolytes in their water to help with the stress. I will hope that tomorrow goes better. This is the most dificult part so far of chicken keeping...trying to introduce a younger set of chickens to an older established set of chickens. The roo has been helpful since I think he recognizes the gang of 4 to be potential hens for his flock...he has tried to get between the gang of 4 and Julia...even going so far as to give Julia a peck or two. I hope that in the next few days they will all come to tolerate each other and the coop will quite down. I just can't wait for the broody hen and 6 chicks to integrate into the coop lol. Hopefully the broody hen Stella will make the whole process work better. By the time it is time to transition them into the coop I will have my new predator proof run finished and can leave the door to the brooder area up so that only the chicks can get in if they need a secure place. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. Keeping chickens didn't seen quite this hard 20 years ago...or maybe I just don't remember.

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