[Integration] Apparently my three older pullets are savage?!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TopazMaster91, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Well, as well as you could do with this sort of thing

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  2. Not so well, and I'll tell you why with my response to this thread

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  1. TopazMaster91

    TopazMaster91 Chirping

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    Oct 21, 2019
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    So, I have three pullets, ages are around 9-10 months old.
    They are the following breeds: Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Cream Legbar. For the first 8-9 months of their lives, they were alone, happily cohabiting a crappy pre-fab coop from tractor supply (note: new BIG coop is almost built!). They have a run attached to the crap-fab, and we free range them daily in our gigantic yard, well over an acre. They have no problems together, and none seem to indulge in "bully" behavior with each other, unless you consider head-hen BuffOrp occasionally pecking bottom-girl CL when I give them snacks to be anything other than the typical pecking order range of behaviors.

    Recently, my mom couldn't help herself, and bought five NEW chicks.
    THESE chicks were different. They were super tiny. In other words...Bantams. All except one. The following breeds were brooded in the house until 10 weeks: (2) Frizzled Cochin bantams, (1) OEGB, (1) Japanese bantam[male], (1) Polish.

    We finally got them outside at 10 weeks of age.
    We put them in a (huge) dog cage, RIGHT NEXT to the older pullet coop.

    They've seen each other every single day for around two weeks now. They also free range (chicks under supervision) at separate times. They don't exactly like each other, from what I can tell, but they do tolerate each other just fine, with the look-no-touch method we have going on. The only exception so far (surprisingly) is with the Polish girl, she actually tried to FLOG the older pullets through the hardware cloth a couple times. Other than that, all of them only tried occasionally to peck at each other. Of course, they can't actually make physical contact, but they are side by side.

    Today, after two weeks of this, I let them out- TOGETHER. Oh hell.
    Things looked GREAT!...For about 10 seconds.
    *peck!* "SCREECH!" *PECK* "SCREEEEECH!"
    The older pullets, over and over, would CHASE the 12 week old chicks, and peck them- HARD. They wouldn't let up. Eventually most of them ran back into their large dog cage, while one frizzle got stuck IN the big girls coop...Ugh. Had to get on my knees, fish her out, while keeping away the older pullets with my other hand. Got her out, she ran into her home, I locked it up. The older pullets ran off to have regular chicken fun times.

    I had no idea my older girls were going to be so &^[email protected]#$...SAVAGE!
    Is there any hope for this to work out?! The new BIIIG coop is about finished, and it will have a gigantic run, will transferring them all together into there work better than what I am currently attempting? I don't want the smaller chicks to get hurt. If it's absolutely necessary, I could separate them permanently with the new setup we are building, but obviously that isn't preferable. Any tips, advice, experiences anyone could provide me with? I've read everything here that I could, I'm still unsure of how to proceed! PLEASE AND THANK YOU! :)
    - David
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Chickens do channel their inner velociraptor sometimes.
    In hindsight, (always best) having the new chicks out there in their separate digs much sooner might have helped. Now, it's going to take longer.
    Were any of them actually injured? It can look terrible, but no injuries is a good sign.
    Do you have one of the older pullets who's especially obnoxious? Separate her, out of sight, for a week, and see if she has more trouble and hassles the babies less later.
    Set up things so your youngsters can get into a safe zone that the bigger birds can't enter. Make it happy, food, water, bedding, all for the littles, so they don't need to come out and can always escape.
    Set up your littles out in the new coop first, with their safe room, and then the older chicks. It will all be new for everyone, a better plan.
    My coop has separate rooms with doors, so it can all be open, or separated, with hardware cloth walls, when necessary. It makes all this go better.
    Mary
     
  3. TopazMaster91

    TopazMaster91 Chirping

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    I would've liked to have them out there sooner,
    but between my mother buying them on impulse and us having to first put together a make-shift brooder and then having to find something bigger for outdoors, it took about that long just to have it all ready for them; trust me, I was seriously wishing the entire time that she had ah, planned things out a little better, lol.

    Doesn't look like they were injured, but the big girls were definitely not being gentle, I saw a feather or two yanked out right away, and they wouldn't let up, kept chasing them if they were anywhere closer than six feet. The little ones tend to stick close to their cage and the coop while they're out, so for whatever reason they wouldn't just run straight into the field, only mainly around both of their living areas.
    The next time I try this, I'll set up a bunch of junk around their cage and the coop for the little ones to jump onto / hide under and such, just to see if that helps anything.
    The new big coop is nearly done and the run should get built within a month at the latest, so by then they'll all have a new place to move to. If needed, I can use the old pre-fab for the newer chicks, if integration goes terribly and doesn't ever get better. The run will be big enough to split up.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    southern Michigan
    It's that evil disease called 'chicken math'! And the little chicks are so very cute!
    Mary
     
  5. TopazMaster91

    TopazMaster91 Chirping

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    Oct 21, 2019
    Lakeland, FL
    Well, you're definitely right about that X)
    I've already started fantasizing about letting the little Japanese bantam boy and one of the bantam female chicks hatch out a few mutt babies when they are mature, lmao
     

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