Help with teenagers/youngers integration?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by salsss, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started with 6 Golden Comets who are 14.5 weeks old....they got along.

    Then I have 10 7.5 week olds...6 EE (with two I THINK are roo) and 4 Cream Legbars (1 rooster).
    They all get along with each other.

    So the littles have been living for a few weeks in the coop, in a huge dog crate, which is too small now.

    I let them out Tuesday, providing lots of hiding places--not good. The little roo and one EE got cornered in the run when they ventured out....this is a big run. I had to crawl under the coop to rescue them--ugh. Change of clothes and a shower.

    Yesterday, there were three GC's stalking the littles, who stay in the coop now. They would come in and chase for a while, and one especially seemed obsessive about it.

    Those three...out they went, to another small coop I have. One squatted when I moved her....she's going to lay soon.

    Is this the problem? She's unhappy the littles are all over the inside of the coop?

    I put a nest box in the small coop and I see it rearranged. Meanwhile, last night the littles roosted up high along with the three remaining large girls. I think these girls are the leaders.

    Everything looks great in the big coop...the littles and bigs eat from the same places indoors with no kerfuffle..they roost together.

    My question: when and how do I get those three separated big girls back inside?

    Nobody has laid an egg yet. At least one (of the three separated) squats for me now.

    ps I know it's early for egg laying...but they are pretty red on top and squat...

    Sally
     
  2. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Sally.
    Ideally you would want to integrate the flocks slowly by having them in separate areas where they could see one another but not be able to chase or peck. This may take a week to accomplish but what is happening is that your older birds are letting the new arrivals know who is boss in no uncertain terms. They need to become accustomed to eachother and having a barrier between them is the only way to prevent aggression. They will get to know one another if they can see each other through out the day so I recommend two areas one for each flock that they can see and talk amongst themselves. Hope this helps! Any questions you have do feel free to ask.
     
  3. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!!! But...I did have them in a "look but no touch" situation....thought it'd be okay at that point to combine them but there was pretty bad aggression: chasing, pinning and cornering, with those three chickens pecking one individual.

    It's weird-- I have half of the older flock with all of the youngsters....they all get along, but don't mix. The little ones know not to go near the big girls, and they are just fine with that.

    It is just those three older girls...they are happy in their smaller coop for right now, so I'll leave them there. But I'll want them in the "real" coop before winter. I guess by then, the littles will be larger....

    I'm wondering if the problems were caused by those girls in the little coop because they are just coming into lay? I see they're checking the nests out and squatting any time I come near! The three big girls in the big coop are not acting that way yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  4. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That could be the reason. Different breeds react a bit differently when faced with newcomers. Space also plays a role. The dominant hens are not going to want to share roots or nests or even food troughs with these zeta birds. Any of those factors could be the reason but winter is a ways off and time is the best remedy. Let them get familiar with each other. In nature the Rooster would settle such inner disputed between hens but since you don't have one the girls run the show and girls can be down right nasty to each other until they make friends.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If the 3 olders and the youngers are getting along OK after awhile add the other 3 olders back into the coop/run.
    The onset of lay could indeed be a factor...hormones surging....or they could just be mean as heck aggressors.
    You might try putting an overly aggressive bird(s) into the crate right in the main coop/run.
    Give them a time out for a day, then try to let them out again.
     
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  6. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup....the three in "solitary" have the reddest combs. And I see the nest has been rearranged...

    Big three/little 10 are living together in peace..in two separate groups. We have a large coop and a large run. Space should not be an issue.

    BTW does a hen going into lay get really LOUD? The three in the smaller coop are talking loudly all the time...not complainey but loud conversation. And I heard an egg song once too--I know what it sounds like from YouTube...LOL
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, they get loud.
     
  8. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. Egg laying is serious business and they tend to let the world know how serious they are about it.
     
  9. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!! Next question: they're sex links and only 14 weeks old. Should I be worried that it's too soon? No matter how much you read, there are questions...
     
  10. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2016
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    And....this morning....the first egg!! :) :)
     

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