Integrating four 15-week olds into six 11-month olds


5 Years
Dec 17, 2016
Help! We started off with three eggs hatched together. Three Easter eggers. One was a rooster. We integrated two more (buff Orpington & RIR), and then two more (golden comet & Black Sex Link), and there was some establishing of pecking order that wasn't pretty, but it didnt last long and they are a close group now. 18 weeks ago the rooster was killed by a hawk. We hatched four of his offspring who are now 15 weeks old. Three of the four are Easter Eggers (sex undetermined but two squat when I pet them, and one will stand up to some of the older ladies), and one is an Easter Egger-Buff Orpington mix who is definitely a hen and smaller than the other three.

The four hatched in February get along well together and have been living separate from the older six. The pens are near each other - 4 feet apart and have been for the past two weeks.

Yesterday we integrated them all in to a 6x8 coop with a 12Lx6Wx7H pen.

The last two added to the original six, the comet and the BSL are picking on the smaller Buff-Easter mix and have made her neck raw and bleed. Its been 48 hours and I have now separated them again. The poor hen being picked on is the sweetest thing who just cuddles in my arms terrified. The other three are clearly intimated as well and have been running from the others.

I have been scouring the threads and picked up some ideas on creating another pen inside the larger run for another couple weeks, and then when I integrate them creating a higher spot that the new ones can escape to. Any other thoughts or advice?

I assume I need to let the little one heal again before I try anything - even the pen inside the run?

Help. I would love any advice! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!
We raised our chicks in a sectioned off "nursery" area inside the coop. The "older birds" and "younger birds" could see each other at all times. Once we finally let them out there was a bit of "pecking order" going on, but nothing too violent. We did end up making another roost on the opposite side of the coop (because the older birds would peck at the younger ones at night when they tried to roost beside them) and they pretty much stay segregated. Even when they free range they stay in their separate groups. Every now and then if a young one gets too close the older bird will kinda chase it off.
Maybe they just need more time together being able to see each other, but seperated. And i would definitely let the little one heal, because they will just continue to pick on her.
Good Luck!

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