Integrating Chicks


10 Years
Jan 24, 2011
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
I jumped in with both feet today and let my 9 week old chicks out with the 17 week olds to free range in the yard. They did okay once the littler ones stopped trying to attack the big ones (The 9 week olds are almost the same size as most of the girls). I stayed right out there because the rooster can sometimes be mean and watched over things. The littler ones got a bit upset when the older ones told them what they could do and where they had to go. They wanted to sleep on my lap in the pen at bedtime. I walked them over to the coop and stayed there until they got comfortable in the coop. I checked on them at 9:00 and they were all on the perches and snoozing even the mean old rooster. Hopefully this means that tomorrow everyone will be okay.

So hard to make them grow up
The big chicks aren't letting them hang out with them yet. They will still chase them if they don't move fast enough. I have one Easter Egger chick and I was worried because they were picking on him a bunch but I think it was more because he wasn't paying attention to what they were asking him to do. Now that he moves when they get close they aren't pecking at him anymore. Hopefully they will eventually allow them to hang out with them. I feel bad for them because they are ostracized from the main group and still won't go into the coop at night.

I found that with the ones that were being really bad about pecking at them that I had to actually pretend to be the mama hen and when they picked too much I would peck them back with my hand. After a bit they got the idea that I didn't want them to attack the babies and they let them in to sleep for the night. Hopefully tonight they will put themselves to bed. My fingers are crossed
Tonight is our second night. I watched from outside the pen as the girls and the two roosters got ready for bed. They all went in and the kids did try to go in but one of the roosters wouldn't let them in. I stepped in and played momma hen again and sat in the door while they got up the nerve to go in the coop and told the rooster to leave my babies alone. Once they were all in and settled I turned off their coop light so they could settle down for the night. It seems that once they are in and roosting the rooster is okay with it. It's just getting them in to roost that's the problem.

My problem will be solved tomorrow though because the trouble making rooster has been attacking my son as well so he heads off for freezer camp in the morning. I think that will make live much easier for both myself and the other chickens.

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