Anti social/scared younger chicks


In the Brooder
Dec 30, 2016
Jamestown, SC
I have 7 Barred Rocks (1 cockerel and 6 pullets) that are about 18 weeks. I also have 6 EE's (2 pullets) who were brooded in the coop since they were 1 week old, they're now 9 weeks old. it's been look but no touch the whole time. I have two urban coop's setup inside an enclosed run. the younger chicks have been brooded underneath, but sleeping in the coop for the past month. prior to opening up the top, they had a MHP underneath and the ramp was closed. lots of scratch and treats along the wire so the birds could have plenty of face to face time.

I've tried integrating by opening the door once or twice. one might wander out (new territory!), and all is fine until they freak out and start running. they might get a peck here or there and the rooster did give them all a flogging. but now he ignores them and I haven't seen anything that has been alarming to me. The chicks just freak out, run back to their 'home', which seems to excite the whole group. but the last time, no real issues.

as a next step, I opened the back of their brooder so they could come and go as they please. Their hiding place (when they were out) always seemed to be behind this coop, so now I just gave them a way in and out - the whole back is open. The front is still closed, to help them feel safer.

I thought they might start wandering out a little further over time, but it seems they just don't want to come out. Every time I go in there, they're inside the coop (so we have digressed). I think they are coming out to eat and drink, and a few might come down when I give them some scratch, but for the most part, they're hiding in the coop all day (every day this week).

To compound the problem, one of my EE cockerel is a big time bully. all is fine in the coop, but when they're down below, he's awful. His main victim actually has been coming out to hide in the other coop and spend his day alone. At night when the older birds go to bed, he goes back to the other coop with the EE's.

How can I help the EE's to feel safer to come out? Force them to come out by raising the ramps so they cant hang out in the coop all day? I don't know who they're more afraid of, their brother the bully, or the Barred Rocks. Probably both. I cant to anything about the Barred Rocks, but I can get rid of the bully ( he just doesn't have much meat). I know they hate change, but how long should I give them to figure it out on their own? They have a whole run to enjoy and they don't know what their missing.
It may be the age difference. I had 2 sets of chickens with just 2 weeks age difference and it took me awhile to get the younger ones comfortable in the run with the older ones. They never stopped running them away from the food.

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