Help - Am I making a mistake?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crusting, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. crusting

    crusting Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    I have two 2-year old hens and 2 six-week-old chicks. I've had the chicks in a cage inside the enclosed run of the coop for 2 weeks so they could be near the older hens. Tonight at dusk I put the chicks inside the coop for the first time, with the older hens. They weren't sure what to do at first and kept running back outside. I put them on the perch and they are staying there and chirping a little bit like they're going to go to sleep. The 2 older hens are all the way on the left side of the perch and the two chicks are on the right side; there's about 3 feet of space between the groups. I was thinking I would get up at the crack of dawn to check on them and move the chicks back into their little cage. Am I making a mistake putting them together with the older ones overnight? I'm just getting tired of having them in the house at night. I know they are pretty young, but will they be okay with the older ones? When I first put them on the perch, one of the older ones gave a couple of light pecks to one of the chicks, so I moved her further away and it stopped (she was pretty close to the hen when she pecked). The other hen looked like she didn't care and was going to sleep. Anyone have any advice???? Please help. Thank you!
  2. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2011
    At least you didn't put just one new one in. I like that you put them in at dusk. They'll fall asleep and wake up in the morning and hopefully think that they've been there all along. Good luck!
  3. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    I would be scared to death to put 6 week old peeps in with 2 year old hens. They are just too little to defend themselves. The older hens aren't that stupid, they will know that they haven't been there all along. They will try and establish a pecking order and your peeps aren't old enough to defend themselves. Usually, you don't try to put chicks in with older hens until the chicks are about the same size and can defend themselves from the older hens...

    Good luck, I just wouldn't have put them in this young.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You've done nothing wrong, but check at first light. It is very likely that the adult hens will bully the chicks.
  5. oceanwidedesigns

    oceanwidedesigns Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Fresno County
    Watch them carefully tomorrow, I wouldn't be surprised if your older hens bully the babies. We introduced our 7 week old chick to our 4 month old pullets and it took a week before they stopped bullying her. They just would shoo her away from the food and water, so we had to put a rubbermaid tote on it's side against a side of the run at an angle. Just enough room for her to get into it to have her own food and water. When the baby was especially annoying (she would run right under them,) the older ones would get upset and peck at her to get her to go back into her box.

    We were thinking of adding some 1 1/2 year old hens in with our 4 month olds (before we decided on getting a younger pullet) and we were advised to not introduce them until ours were laying.
  6. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    i think that is a big age difference...mostly because they are still pretty small at 6 weeks.....they will be ok over night.....but come day light they could
    get a beating!....if you can get up at the crack of dawn you can save them!...[​IMG]...or put a box or something the chicks can run under, that the big hens cant get into...
    thats what i did.....just so they can get cover if they are being attacked!....once they get bigger....(about 10 weeks) wont be so bad....i have 3 different ages in
    my coop...still waiting for the big happy family...but they are all in together and no one is in danger of being pecked to death!.....good luck!
  7. crusting

    crusting Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    okay, so it sounds like I shouldn't have done this....but different opinions here. I'll get up early tomorrow and move them back into their cage. i don't know if I should keep doing this at night or if I should move them back into the house at night tomorrow night. I don't mind getting up early...

    At some point they will need to be together in there. I don't have a setup that allows them to remain separate overnight.

    If I keep putting them in at night, and then separate them during the day, then will the older ones get used to them being there and eventually be able to put them all together during the day?
  8. macdoogle2

    macdoogle2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2011
    San Diego
    If there is enough space for them and enough feed and water stations they will be fime. The chicks will get chased for sure and get pecked on but given that it's 2 to 2...Chicks are resilient. They know how to hide or get out of the way.
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    I have had 3 set of birds 5 weeks on up out in 40*. Chickens are strong. As long as they are fully feathered and have room to get away now from the older birds they stand a good chance at making it.
  10. Rodster

    Rodster Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2011
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    Hi. i know im pretty new, but this is my experience. i had 3 2 yr old dark sex links and a silky roo to begin with at once. within a few weeks i added 3 turkeys, a mom and 2 6 week old peeps, things went great. added another tom and turk hen a few weeks later (lost a peep from the pox, the other healed up fine) and aside from a little sleeping room struggles, all went well. after they went in the first few times i'd sit by the door and listen for a problem and watch. move a few here and there and after a few nights, just fine. go out early next am and just sit and listen... open up and let them out looking for stress and aside from roo hogging the water for his girls, no sweat. feeding, you watch and make a few food piles so everyone can eat at once, then the hungry ones can continue at the main dish. few weeks later i was given 11 5 week old cockerels. first night i made a seperate place in the coop with plasticwirefence stuff, left em a perch and went to bed. next am let them out and holy hell... the turk peep was the most agressive one. made a sub run and just sat out and watched for a week, helping them to bed seperately, little bit of a pain, but manageable. within a week i had them all together and now they all sleep together as well. the weaker, smaller ones stay low and the stronger, less intimidated sleep as high as they can stand. some have made friends with the hens and are allowed to sleep next to em, and so far roo has no probs at all. Maybe i am just lucky, but with 22 total birds now in a single coop and run, i think i'm doing remarkably well. just watch them, be ready to sit near any trouble makers and if they peck one, you peck them back right away and go sit back down. within 2 days they all got the idea, the chicks knew i was helping and they all got sorted out. they trust me even more now, and i think the others do as well. now, aside from the kids playing kik ass to each other, they are all doing great. dont be afraid to spy and check on them. Good luck.

    the flock as of today...

    1 2 to 3 yr old dark silky roo
    4 dark sex link hens, one being half egger from the coloring and new 2 days ago (all laying)
    2 Americauna hens, "Penny" a wheaten i've had 8 days, "henny" a silver got 2 days ago (unknown ages)
    A 6 mo old tom and his hen about 6 months as well, and a 3 and 4 month old pullet (chocolate and red)
    11 7 week old plym rock/buff orph ccockerels, still unfeathered and growing like weeds (2 weeks ago now)
    2 11 day old americana pullets (i hope) with a male 6 week old cockerel babysitting for me (still inside together)
    1 very amused 15 year old black and white long haired domestic dustmop cat

    and aside from the newest americauna, (scared of EVERYTHING, poor thing)
    they ALL get along, except the americuana babies which are still inside and
    havent met anyone but penney. that went well too.

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