How to encourage friendly behavior with two sets of chicks?

Whigru

Chirping
May 7, 2020
202
231
73
Minnesota
I have 2 sets of chicks, 9 weeks apart. My older gals are 12 weeks and I have a Columbian Wyandotte and a RIR. My babies are 3 weeks and one is an ISA Brown and the other is an Easter Egger. I have read a lot of posts about integrating chicks to the flock and I’m just wondering if there’s anything else I can or should do to encourage friendliness from the big girls to the littles.

My run is 3x10 plus an additional 3x4 above one end for the actual coop. The big birds are in the coop at night, the babies are still in a box in the garage for night time.During the day, I’ve been putting the babies in the run and separating it with a fence panel that allows the babies to sneak in and out if they want/need. They have their own water, food, and shade. The big girls have the same on their side of the run. They are all able to free range for some of the day (when I’m able to supervise). Recently, the bigger girls have taken to chasing the babies and trying to peck at them. I know this is normal. So far, they haven’t been overly aggressive by pulling out tons of feathers or causing anyone to bleed, so for the most part, I’ve observed but don’t intervene. Usually the babies get away pretty quickly and seek their end of the run. This behavior has gotten “worse” over the last week or so (by worse, I just mean that at first, the big ones left the littles completely alone; now they have moments where they seem to seek out a way to terrorize them

I read in someone’s thread that having two sets of younger birds might mean that since the older bunch is still figuring out a pecking order, they might be a little more mean to the babies just because they haven’t figured out yet who is top bird.

Is there anything more I can or should be doing, or can I just keep letting it play out this way?
Thanks!
 

Gallinarium

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
897
2,434
256
America
I have 2 sets of chicks, 9 weeks apart. My older gals are 12 weeks and I have a Columbian Wyandotte and a RIR. My babies are 3 weeks and one is an ISA Brown and the other is an Easter Egger. I have read a lot of posts about integrating chicks to the flock and I’m just wondering if there’s anything else I can or should do to encourage friendliness from the big girls to the littles.

My run is 3x10 plus an additional 3x4 above one end for the actual coop. The big birds are in the coop at night, the babies are still in a box in the garage for night time.During the day, I’ve been putting the babies in the run and separating it with a fence panel that allows the babies to sneak in and out if they want/need. They have their own water, food, and shade. The big girls have the same on their side of the run. They are all able to free range for some of the day (when I’m able to supervise). Recently, the bigger girls have taken to chasing the babies and trying to peck at them. I know this is normal. So far, they haven’t been overly aggressive by pulling out tons of feathers or causing anyone to bleed, so for the most part, I’ve observed but don’t intervene. Usually the babies get away pretty quickly and seek their end of the run. This behavior has gotten “worse” over the last week or so (by worse, I just mean that at first, the big ones left the littles completely alone; now they have moments where they seem to seek out a way to terrorize them

I read in someone’s thread that having two sets of younger birds might mean that since the older bunch is still figuring out a pecking order, they might be a little more mean to the babies just because they haven’t figured out yet who is top bird.

Is there anything more I can or should be doing, or can I just keep letting it play out this way?
Thanks!
I would just let them be, unless it gets too violent. If there's blood, separate them immediately.
 

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