Integrating the big scaredy chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sg4, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Sg4

    Sg4 Chirping

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    Aug 7, 2017
    So I've introduced younger pullets into my flock every year with no real issues. No major bullying. I've been fortunate! This year, I only raised 4 sweethearts and I decided to raise them outside with the big girls. They have had their own quarantined section within the coop/run. I was expecting that integrating them would be even easier, since they've been able to interact from 2 weeks old.
    They are almost the same size as my hens, so I've been trying to coax them out of their enclosure for some supervised interaction, but they will not leave. In the past, I've had young pullets racing to get out of their enclosure and run around with the big girls. Not these scaredy chickens! They want nothing to do with it. One of my hens was a bully and pushed her way into their enclosure when I was cleaning, and I think she scared them.

    So, any tips/suggestions? I've tried taking them out to roost at night. They weren't having it. I've tried leaving the door open and providing enticing treats. Didnt work. I know they will be so much happier when they have more space, as they are getting pretty big. But they just wont "leave the nest".
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Do you have their space set up so they can return when they feel bullied? If you never heard of the panic room method of integrating chicks, it involves installing chick-size openings where the large chickens cannot enter. Food and water are kept inside the enclosure so the chicks can continue to eat in safety.

    Allowing chicks to integrate themselves at their own pace is the best practice. Sleeping with the adults in the coopis the next step. Have you given thought to that?
     
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  3. Sg4

    Sg4 Chirping

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    Aug 7, 2017
    Yes, I do implement the "panic room" method. They just seem so terrified to even exit. I know they are probably content and it's just me that thinks they are miserable in cramped quarters, Haha! But I may try leaving their entrance open and just keep an eye on them for the afternoon. And see if anyone gets brave.
     
    azygous and trumpeting_angel like this.

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