Each is aware of the others existence so....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm wondering if a pen to seperate my two month old chicks from my adult birds is even going to be necessary.
    Here's my current setup - the adult birds coop is in the garden area, which is outside the fenced yard. My adult birds free range all day, but can no longer slip through the slots in the fence to enter the yard. Other than that, they go where they please.
    The chicks are currently still housed in the yard. They run around mainly in the yard, but do slip through the fence to forage around the perimeter of the yard. They haven't ventured into the garden area, yet.
    The adult birds are aware of the chicks and vice versa. There's been some pretty funny standoffs when an adult bird and a chick both end up under the same vehicle, tractor, what-have-you, looking for bugs. They stop and stare and then one of them ends up running away, almost always it's one of the big birds that flees first.
    My adult rooster has watched the chicks through the fence quite a few times. I expected him to crow or otherwise claim his dominance of the farm, but he doesn't. He'll flap his wings (an action I've learned he does when he's nervous) and then walk away.
    Right now it seems like the adult birds just want to ignore the chicks as much as possible.

    Now for the dilemma. Soon the chicks coop will be right next to the adult birds coop in the garden. We have intended to create a temporary pen around their coop until they've been around the adults for awhile and have some size on them. A pen is going to be a hassle. It will have to have a top, since these little ones are great flyers. Also, they are already used to free ranging every day and I'm sure they aren't going to like the confinment of a pen. There's plenty of places for the babies to hide.

    I'm wondering if a pen is even really necessary considering they've been exposed to each other, have seen each other for about a month now and the adults are not acting aggressive in any way. My biggest concern is that my adult roo is not going to be pleased that I have a few cockerels in the baby flock.

    I'm just not sure what to do.
  2. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I'd not worry about a separate pen at this time, but keep it in mind if aggression does happen in the future. (When those cockerels get a bit bigger).
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I think that's what I'm going to do. I may even consider penning my adult roo up for a bit if he tries to get too big for his britches.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Sounds like they are already free ranging together without serious problems. I'd lock them in the new coop long enough for them to figure it is home, then just let them go. Keep giving them separate watering places and feeding places if you have to feed them. Since they are not roosting together at night, I doubt there will be serious problems. They are living animals and yours always have drama, but I still think it will work out. I did something like you are doing and at 12 weeks my younger ones were sharing roosts with the older ones. They were at the opposite end of the roosts crowded into a small pile as far from the adults as they could get, but at least on the same roosts without serious problems.

    I think you are less likely to have serious problems with the roosters if they are introduced at a young age. Your young ones will still fight among themselves, but don't be surprised if your older one breaks up those fights. When the young ones hit that adolescent hormonal stage, they will drive the older one (I can't remember which one you kept) batty trying to mate with the mature hens. When they are chased, expect the older hens to run to the older rooster for protection. At some stage some of the younger ones will challenge your older one for flock dominance. That may get deadly but not necessarily. I expect several threads from you during this process, but I think more of them will be funny instead of serious.

    Good luck with it.
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    When I introduce young stock to full grown chickens, I do it in the coop, locked. No open pen doors. All real close. And I sit on a lawn chair in the middle and watch with a stick in hand. I don't go around beating them, but I do approach any that would harm the little ones and move them away and they get the hint.
    I make an enclosure with 2X4 wire for both protection and a private feeding station for the little ones, because the adult chickens will try and eat everything.
    After a while, the chicks seem to know that I am Momma, because they come all around my feet and eat whatever I give them and the adults stay away when they see the stick move. I pretty much only have to threaten; never beat a chicken yet. They have to come up with a pecking order anyway, but I want to supervise the order at first.
    I can't speak of introducing young roos. I keep my young roos separated as soon as I can ID them. They get sold as food or eaten at my table. I wouldn't think that the roosters would be threatned by the young roos, until they get to be about 3 months old, but I can't remember. Its been too long since I raised a roo with his dad.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:That right there is what I think will be my biggest problem. My adult roo is a LF brahma. He's huge. In the baby flock I intend to keep the turken cockerel (who made his sex known at a very young age) and two of the CX cockerels, for however long they live. I'm also sure that at least one of my silkies is a cockerel. The turken and silkie cockerels I'm not so worried about; they're fast and agile. The two CX cockerels I've chosen to keep are active, but in no way are they einsteins or ballerinas. Big and clumsey and not the sharpest tools in the shed. I'm worried that they will be sitting ducks for my adult roo. If it weren't for having the large adult roo I wouldn't have a problem. [​IMG]

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