Aug 28, 2020
I bought Bielifelders from Greenfire farms . they are about 10 weeks old. I paid quite a bit for these chickens and my thoughts were . I could sell beautiful large dark eggs , maybe a few chicks in the spring and perhaps get meat from them as well. I really hoped I could just do this one breed since I heard so many good reviews on them. My experience has been that they are just eating machines . They don’t know how to forage or go into the coop at night . I put them with my older girls hoping they would learn how to be a chicken but when I go out to check on them there they are heads in the feed bowl. I put out all kinds of goodies for them all but they hardly notice.I have tried blocking them the feed and it helped while they were block but that was all . They are gentle birds ( which I like ) but that also makes them afraid of the other girls , even the two males run from the girls. At night I come out to find them all looking up at the automatic door, I have to reopen it and put them in. So I guess I bought some very expensive meat birds .
Give them time... my Bielefelder are wonderful! Once they are grown they don't eat more than any other bird. Don't keep them from the feed! They need it to grow!
And putting chicks in with older birds is risky. They will get picked on as they are too small to defend themselves. Once they are grown they will though... mine are pretty fresh... they know how to get stuff faster than my Sulmtaler. When I come with a treat, they grab and run. My Sulmtaler just watch. It's very funny to watch!
Roosters who are still young will also get pecked on by the older hens. Once the hormones kick in it will change.
My Bielefelder go in no problem. I do have to say though that they are dirty stay outs... always last. In your case it might be that they are afraid to go inside because of the older hens.

That is just my impression.
10 weeks is still pretty young.
I think your expectations might need a reassessment.

What all and how exactly are you feeding them?
They should never be blocked from feeding.

How did you integrate them with the older birds?
How many birds in each age group?
How big is your coop, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would help immensely here.
Sadly, I have not enjoyed raising Bieles (mine were from the 2011 GF import). My experience has been inconsistent egg laying and high feed consumption. They do grow to be quite large however, so I'm using some of their genes in a possible meat bird project.

Some people love them, but yeah, I'm kind of with you that they don't live up to the hype. :)
Very interesting thread! I will continue to follow because Bieles were on my “to get” list this coming spring. These birds have intrigued me for a couple of years.

Talk about feed hogs...that would be my twenty two, 2.5 year old hens whose production has declined to almost zilch. Time for a change.

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