Bigger chickens pecking smaller chickens. Help please I'm slowly losing my mind.

Chuckenman

Chirping
Jun 23, 2021
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I'm very new to chicken raising so forgive me but first i bought 6 chickens, they're about 3-4 months old and I bout em way back in april. Decided id buy a few more chickens, bought 3, they're about 2 months old I think, definitely smaller than the original 6 chickens. Boy was it a mistake. At first nothing happend. I opened all the chickens together and everything was fine, they ate and walked together fine. The newer chickens were a little shocked but that was because they were shocked from all the travel. For the night the coop seemed to be too small for the new and the old chickens so the put the 3 new ones in a cage. A couple days later that is how they spent their days the new chickens would be in the cage since i ordered a bigger coop. The bigger coop was built and i put all the chickens in it in the morning. I come in the afternoon and i see all the 3 new chickens in a corner being pecked on by the bigger ones. I quickly took em out and luckily there were no injuries. Now whenever i open them together the bigger ones hit the smaller new ones and won't let them come near the food and water feeder. Searched about this online and heard it could be the pecking order. While in the cage the the bigger ones couldnt see the smaller ones at all and maybe thus couldnt get used to them and now they consider them outside their pecking order. For now ive made two partitions in the coop one for the bigger ones and the other for the smaller ones. Is there any way to fix this problem? I'm literally losing my mind giving food in seperate feeders to both chickens, thats not all. Since there are 6 big chickens what they do is one of them goes to the smaller ones feeder and scares em off. Ive been having to give food to the little ones in the coop since the big ones wont let em eat outside. Help me pls
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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I'm very new to chicken raising so forgive me but first i bought 6 chickens, they're about 3-4 months old and I bout em way back in april. Decided id buy a few more chickens, bought 3, they're about 2 months old I think, definitely smaller than the original 6 chickens. Boy was it a mistake. At first nothing happend. I opened all the chickens together and everything was fine, they ate and walked together fine. The newer chickens were a little shocked but that was because they were shocked from all the travel. For the night the coop seemed to be too small for the new and the old chickens so the put the 3 new ones in a cage. A couple days later that is how they spent their days the new chickens would be in the cage since i ordered a bigger coop. The bigger coop was built and i put all the chickens in it in the morning. I come in the afternoon and i see all the 3 new chickens in a corner being pecked on by the bigger ones. I quickly took em out and luckily there were no injuries. Now whenever i open them together the bigger ones hit the smaller new ones and won't let them come near the food and water feeder. Searched about this online and heard it could be the pecking order. While in the cage the the bigger ones couldnt see the smaller ones at all and maybe thus couldnt get used to them and now they consider them outside their pecking order. For now ive made two partitions in the coop one for the bigger ones and the other for the smaller ones. Is there any way to fix this problem? I'm literally losing my mind giving food in seperate feeders to both chickens, thats not all. Since there are 6 big chickens what they do is one of them goes to the smaller ones feeder and scares em off. Ive been having to give food to the little ones in the coop since the big ones wont let em eat outside. Help me pls
A few days is no where near long enough to wait before two sub-flocks are thrown in together. Typically the 'look don't touch' phase of integration is done over 2 weeks. It then takes many more weeks before the flocks begin to merge and settle in.
Birds as young as 4-5 weeks old can be integrated into a flock of adults if they have been brooded in the coop with them in their own protected space within full view of the flock.
Can you please post pictures of your setup?
When integrating chickens the number one thing you need is lots of SPACE with lots of things in that space to perch on, hide behind and dig around in. You also need to put out several feeders.
What I've done in the past when I have large numbers of pullets coming of age is lay flat stones all over the run. I make a mash out of their feed and put dollops of it all over the place on those stones plus in the normal feeders. It really helps everyone get something to eat.
 
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Photos of your set up, both coop and run, would help a lot. Without seeing those, I'm guessing you might not have enough feeders and clutter to separate them to give the smaller birds a chance to eat and escape from harassment.

It seems excessive, but I have up to 6 food bowls/stations in the morning for 10 birds, as well as ample clutter, so even very young chicks can safely find a way to eat around full grown adults.
 

Chuckenman

Chirping
Jun 23, 2021
85
97
81
Photos of your set up, both coop and run, would help a lot. Without seeing those, I'm guessing you might not have enough feeders and clutter to separate them to give the smaller birds a chance to eat and escape from harassment.

It seems excessive, but I have up to 6 food bowls/stations in the morning for 10 birds, as well as ample clutter, so even very young chicks can safely find a way to eat around full grown adults.
Photos of the coop
IMG_20210717_175536.jpg

IMG_20210717_175503.jpg

I made a partition with fence in the middle so both parties can see eachother but the bigger ones can hurt the smaller ones. It isn't the best coop but its pretty good. As for the run I don't have one since I raise my chickens on the rooftop and since I don't have much more space.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Photos of the coop
View attachment 2763137
View attachment 2763138
I made a partition with fence in the middle so both parties can see eachother but the bigger ones can hurt the smaller ones. It isn't the best coop but its pretty good. As for the run I don't have one since I raise my chickens on the rooftop and since I don't have much more space.
Where are you located in the world?
You're saying you keep 6 full size chickens in half of that space?? And you want to add even more chickens? Where do they spend their days? Where do they dust bathe? Where are the birds when you took these pictures?
 

Chuckenman

Chirping
Jun 23, 2021
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81
Where are you located in the world?
You're saying you keep 6 full size chickens in half of that space?? And you want to add even more chickens? Where do they spend their days? Where do they dust bathe? Where are the birds when you took these pictures?
IMG_20210717_183736.jpg

Chickens aren't full size. The chickens were outside when i took the coop photo. They dust bath in that dust pile in the right corner. I open em and let em out of the coop daily for like 2 hours.
 

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MissE

Crowing
Oct 17, 2020
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Northern MN
I agree with having multiple food and water stations. I have 13 birds that are 14 weeks old and 11 that are 11 weeks old. They are in the same run, and have two tractors that are being used as make shift coops. Their section of the run is 15x40. Space helps prevent attacks and I have four feeders and four waterer spread out so no one can guard the only food source. So far, they are doing well. 12 cockerels are destined for freezer camp in three weeks. I will keep one cockerel and most of the pullets. These young birds are separated from my main flock by a 2x4 wire fence and have been for several weeks, with the hope that the older birds are used to having them around when it comes time to combining the flocks.
 

Sooner Magnolia

Crowing
7 Years
Jun 13, 2014
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Central Oklahoma
I agree with previous responses. Space is the key. Did you mean to say that they are in the small crate for all but 2 hours of the day? If so, that's asking for a myriad of problems even with only the original bunch. It also looks like you have a smaller fenced area with feed in it etc. That might work better for their confined time. You should probably do 2 crates and let them out for the majority of the day.
 
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