How do you get teenagers to sleep in the house w/ adults?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheSpiceGirls, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,569
    250
    241
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Okay, I'm totally at the end of my rope. I have two adults who were not getting along so I bought three baby chicks 13 weeks ago. Raising the babies through the dead of winter was BRUTAL. Are they warm enough, what if the power goes out, what if their heat lamp bulb burns out?!?

    Anyway, they all survived and grew and now are living out with the big hens. And they seem to get along well. The babies don't get too close to the adults.

    My problem is, the babies still go to sleep inside their dog crate and the big hens inside their house. If I put the babies inside the house, the adults attack them. Viciously!

    What do I do?

    Do I just give this more time? Do I pull the adults out of the run at dusk and put the babies in the house and give that some time and then re-introduce the adults?

    I thought chickens were suppose to be low maintenance pets and I'm really frustrated at how much time this is taking.

    And advice appreciated.
     
  2. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    7
    141
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Integrating birds can be a challenge. I personally think 13 weeks is too young to integrate with hens. I don't integrate until they are at least 16 weeks old. Integration takes time. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it is a disaster.

    I am fortunate to have two coops and a large shared run between them. Two years ago I doubled my flock size. I divided the run in half with chicken wire. The older birds were put in 1/2 of the run with one coop and the younger birds were in the other coop with the other 1/2 of the run. They could see each other through the chicken wire. I left them like this for several weeks. When I removed the chicken wire the two flocks were initially afraid of each other. Then they started wandering into the other birds area. There was not hardly any pecking at each other. It could not have gone better.

    My flock has shrunk a bit in the last year and I have added more space to by run. I am going to thin about 7 birds from my flock this spring to get it down to 20 birds. I am also going to get about 20 new chicks in early April of this year. I will integrate the the same way this year. I expect the hardest part will be when to 20 older birds are pushed into one coop. There is plenty of room but some of them are used to the other coop.
     
  3. champer

    champer Chillin' With My Peeps

    716
    11
    113
    Jun 13, 2011
    San Martin, CA
    I just moved some 8wk old chicks into the coop with the big hens. The chicks had been out free ranging during the day with the hens for about 2 wks. What worked for me was adding a separate roost bar on the opposite wall for the new chicks so they didn't have to interact with the big gals. For the first 2 nights, the chicks didn't go in the coop till after the big girls were on their roost and settled, then I brought the little ones in and put them on their own separate roost. So far ( almost 2 wks,) there has been no problem. Would a separate roost bar be possible for you?
     
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,569
    250
    241
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Yea, it's really tough. I'm so frustrated because I thought having a few hens in my back yard would be fun. I bought four chicks and one turned out to be a roo and another was a serious bully and beat the living daylights out of the BO. And the BO was my favorite so I gave the bully away. And then there were two.

    So I wasn't prepared to have to add chicks just one year into this adventure. But here I am.

    I really hate having to clean out two cages each week but I guess that's just easier than trying to get them to sleep together at night.

    And my arm is a mess. My Jersey Giant really got me last night w/ her claws and beak.

    I can say I've learned a ton and if I was to go back and do this all over again, I'd do this very differently.
     
  5. Remudamom

    Remudamom Chillin' With My Peeps

  6. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,569
    250
    241
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I love it. Unfortunately, my coop is tiny. Just 3' by 4'. So it's next to impossible to get anything else in there. And get it in there w/ out the big girls being able to poop all over it.

    I think I'm just going to leave the babies in the dog crate indeffinately. It's a hassle to clean out two coops. But otherwise, it's working out just fine.

    And hope that eventually, they will all move to the big coop. Maybe by fall. I hate to have them in the dog crate when the weather is windy as it's tough to wrap up tight. and I have to go out there at night to wrap and early morning to unwrap.I

    I'm really just venting. I'm $#%@ and my arm is all cut up from my JG going after me. And I'm tired of the drama. But I'm going to just let them work it out.
     
  7. Remudamom

    Remudamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know what else you could try that I've used before is just an old screen door. Stick it in there at an angle if you have to just to separate them for a while but they get a really good look at each other.

    Right now I'm using that playpen to protect some day old chicks AND to protect a broody. You can bend it around to make two small spaces. The chicks are in a container inside the pen because they can fit between the bars, but can't get out of the container. It keeps the bigger chicks out, and I can keep them all inside the pen. The broody doesn't have or need much space so she's happy too. It's not my first choice for the broody, but she wouldn't move so we're stuck until they hatch.
     
  8. Remudamom

    Remudamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    And btw, I just got two Jersey Giant chicks. Are they mean?
     
  9. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,569
    250
    241
    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    No, JG's are not mean. But she's big, 7 lbs., so not even as big as they can get. She's got a big personality. She's very verbal when I come out to see them. And very curious and comes right up to me. She's got a voracious appitite. She is also a straw eater so I can't use that in my run or she gets sour crop.

    She would prefer that I don't pick her up. And I think I frightened her by trying to take her off the roost last night. I love her very much but I'm not sure I'd get more or recommend them to people who just want 2-3 chickens for a small backyard situation. But if you have a little room, they are GREAT birds. She lays a HUGE XL egg and sometimes puts dark brown speckles on it.

    Her favorite food in the whole wide world is banana. Here's a little video I shot of her rolling my husband for his banana.

     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by