Brand new to backyard chickens-need help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jacquelyn213, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. jacquelyn213

    jacquelyn213 Hatching

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    Jun 5, 2012
    Good morning all~
    Brand new Momma to Backyard Chickens.

    Just got 4 non-bearded Silkies-two are around 6-8 weeks old and the other two are about 3-4 weeks old. I was told the two older ones are hens but the babies we don't know yet.

    Only had them a few days and I've noticed from the beginning that one of the "older" Silkies seems very dominant towards the babies. She will peck at them if they get to close to her or the food and water. She also seems to chase them around the coop at night if they get too close. She will not seek them out-if they bother her or get too close she gets annoyed. The second older Silkie seems very calm and accepting of the babies.

    Interesting enough though-I noticed last night that all 4 were sleeping together when I went in the coop to do my final check! But when I went in this morning, there she was, being bossy again and chasing the babies around and pecking. To me, the babies seem afraid of her and will run away and chirp very loudly when they see her.

    My coop is a nice sized coop that I secure at night and they also have a huge, very secure enclosed run to be out in during the day. I've been keeping the babies in the coop most of the day right now because it has been on the chilly side but the bigger girls go out around 5:30 am and stay out until dusk. They only seem to want to come in if it rains.

    Today I put out 2 separate feeders and waterers.

    I'm not sure what to do and if this behavior is normal. I don't want to over think this and I want to have a successful coop!

    I am brand new to chickens and have 0 experience.

    I would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  2. crazychickenwom

    crazychickenwom Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Ohio
    Sounds like the older hen is just making sure she is the at the top of the pecking order. This is normal, as long as she is not drawing blood on the babies I would say just to leave them be. IMO it is natural behavior and as soon as the babies know who is boos it will settle down. Good idea on putting the second feeder and water in, that way they are sure to be able to get to one of them.

    Just keep an eye on them, I am sure it will turn out just fine!
     

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