I hate integrating chicks

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
So stressful and dramatic. All because I have one insanely insecure hen.

The littles have been accepted into the flock by all but two. One is much worse than the other.

I had them shut in with the big hens for several hours yesterday and it was going fine. But, when it came time to roost and it was down to just psycho and six chicks remaining in the run, she went beserk chasing them. I finally just let them return to their safe house.

They've been in almost all day today and again, it's reasonably peaceful. But I really doubt tonight will be different.

Considering jailing my problem hen in the brooder alone while they all roost and then sticking her in her spot after dark...
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
10,471
35,344
1,027
SW MO
Jailing her might be the answer. I had a RIR hen that was so mean at roosting time, I made a cell in the corner of the coop for her, using plastic mesh fencing. I'd lift her up and lock her in every night.
She's no longer with us, but I am close to integrating youngsters with the remaining hens. As you said, not something to look forward to. Next time, I'm letting a broody raise the chicks.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
I jailed the mean girl and left the littles in until dark. One went in the coop but was on the low hop bar where she might get pooped on and the rest were on the perches in the run. Total fail. I reset everyone with much screeching.

Today, I decided to see if the coop would be less scary if the people doors were wide open during range time. Sure enough, they were hopping in and out exploring. They're back to being cooped up now and the littles are going in and out through the pop door like they belong. Fingers crossed for bedtime!
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,113
1,779
277
Pacific Northwest
not sure what your safe house set up is, but I read somewhere on here about setting up a door that is too small for the adults to go through, into the brooder. I tried this and it has worked great. the chicks run in for shelter when they are being pecked on and gradually the adults are getting used to having them around... by far the least stressful transition I've had so far!
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
not sure what your safe house set up is, but I read somewhere on here about setting up a door that is too small for the adults to go through, into the brooder. I tried this and it has worked great. the chicks run in for shelter when they are being pecked on and gradually the adults are getting used to having them around... by far the least stressful transition I've had so far!
In an ideal world, that's what I'd have. But, the run isn't secure enough for young chicks so I don't merge them fully until they're nearly grown. They do have shared range time much earlier so it's not as if they're just meeting but I've had a pullet die from cornering/scalping and I'm not 100% sure it was the rooster alone.
 

Kyanite

Loving Life!
May 27, 2016
442
134
157
SE Idaho
Ugh, I'm going through it too. I feel your pain. I have four 8-9 week old chicks that I'm trying to get integrated. I'm liking the idea of locking up the meanest hen. She had 3 of them cornered and was pecking them badly. Then if one broke away she'd chase it down. The chicks were in full on frenzy mode. Several of my other hens couldn't have cared any less that the chicks were there. Two of the chicks are suspected little cockerels, and one even ran up to a hen and pecked her. She looked at him like "puhleeze kiddo" and just went about her business.
not sure what your safe house set up is, but I read somewhere on here about setting up a door that is too small for the adults to go through, into the brooder. I tried this and it has worked great. the chicks run in for shelter when they are being pecked on and gradually the adults are getting used to having them around... by far the least stressful transition I've had so far!
I tried this with the above mentioned chicks. They are so terrified of the nasty hen that they won't come out willingly, and when she attacks they get so frenzied that they can't figure out how to get back into their safe space. They were trying to jam themselves through the wire and ran right past the opening multiple times. Poor things.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
Almost there... I only had to take one chick off the outdoor perch and put her in the coop tonight.

One chick is in the rafters, one has a roost all to herself, three on the low bar, and one had the nerve to roost with the high-ranking adults! They pecked her, she made noise but didn't move. Repeat twice more. Then they decided she could stay. :eek:
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom