Introducing 8 week olds to 13 week olds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SemperChicken, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. SemperChicken

    SemperChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So we've had the 8 week old chicks in a "brooder" for the past month and our "teenagers" in the small coop for a while and just wanting to start consolidating where the chickens are I decided to integrate the younger ones together finally. I am sure that this behavior is absolutely normal, but just wanted to double check with you guys first on what you think. I posted a video of our Australorp, Mckenzie, doing what I believe is just establishing who's top hen to the new members. This isn't behavior that I should worry about, is it?

    Anyway, here's the video link. Let me know what you think.

     
  2. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have to establish a pecking order. I had to deal with the situation recently, my bigs were purchased May 1st (7 of 8 survived), littles (4 of 5 were kept, the other was a mean cockerel that had to go) were purchased June 5th. All were day olds when bought. I tried to integrate mine by just putting in and supervising, but my littles were so much smaller and the bigs were relentless so I built a mini coop in the run and left them in there (look but don't touch) for a couple weeks before we let them out. Things are so much better now than the first attempt. Most of the bigs don't mess with the littles too much, but the 2 on the lowest end of the pecking order are a bit of a pain sometimes.

    So, my point in all that was if it's just a little pecking, no major fights, blood draw or injuries I would keep a close eye on them for now to see how things go. I know it really tugged at my heart, but it's what chickens do.
     
  3. SemperChicken

    SemperChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perfect, that's what I was thinking also. I have this small coop, in the video, next to our larger coop so I can do a "look but don't touch" integration, but our rooster was relentlessly charging at the littles a few weeks ago when I let them both out to run the backyard. He would purposely go into the small coop to peck at the littles. Was not happy, so I football held Roo for a little bit after that lol.

    I'll definitely keep an eye on them. I know it's rough sometimes integrating a flock when I wish sometimes "why didn't I just get a dozen to begin with??" lol.

    Thank you!
     
  4. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: I thought the same thing myself. I was after very specific breeds and what I DIDN'T realize is how hard it would be to get my hands on ameraucanas (which turned out to be EE anyways, ugh). THREE failed attempts before a success in purchasing, which explains my gap. Future flocks I intend to purchase all together. I don't want to have to try to integrate again if I can help it, but I will do what I have to if it means getting the breeds I want (hopefully though I can get all of them close enough in age I can just put them together if that happens).
     
  5. nutsaboutchicks

    nutsaboutchicks New Egg

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    I am trying to introduce 6 month olds to 1 year olds. They hate each other. My vet told me to seperate them, put the young ones in the main coop and introduce the old ones one at a time. youngs run away as soon as an old one comes near. I hope they sort things out soon.
     
  6. SemperChicken

    SemperChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea I've heard and read that it's more of a pain introducing to older hens, where as these guys are about a month apart and not laying yet. They seem to be doing a lot better. Mckenzie isn't blocking food or water or anything, just occasional pecking on the back of the head. Her and my EE, Harriet, are gonna have a heck of a time when I introduce the youngens to our older flock as Harriet is the top hen of the older group lol. I remember introducing our rooster and hen (Gold Laced Cochin Bantam) and Harriet drew blood from Roo's comb lol. Harriet is now Roo's favorite as her back is all tore up, haha.

    I hope yours get along better. Can be rough at first, but they just have to establish the pecking order before things can move along.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The pecking order can be a real circus. This is what I've learned about it when introducing new, younger models.

    Much older chickens, if you have any, and I'm talking about the ones three to six years old and older, couldn't care less about very young ones, except when they happen to get in their way.

    Intermediate pullets and cockerels, however, can be a huge problem, since they've been at the bottom of the pecking order until now, and they almost always tend to take advantage of chicks to move up in the pecking order. The five-month olds I have think its fine sport to chase the chicks around the pen just for the sheer entertainment value. If these two age groups have to roost together, you have a real challenge on your hands because they can totally disrupt the chicks attempts to roost. Lucky for me my adolescents are in a coop space of their own.

    I've found that a swift poke on the back when a bully is acting up gets the message across that it's not acceptable, and the bullying usually stops. If you spend a lot of time with your flock, as I do, over time the "poking" can be a pretty effective training method to curtail bad behavior. But it takes time.
     
  8. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: yea, that works temporarily for me too. I've also had to pick up and carry around the aggressing hen, which has worked longer than the poke though. When one goes then a couple of the others might try to join in and it's the last thing I want so I try to nip it quickly. My rooster goes into protective mode when the girls squawk when I pick them up, but I back him off and he starts herding the other girls.
     
  9. Morning

    Morning Out Of The Brooder

    You're lucky that's all your rooster did. I was trying to pick up a hen and my too went ape. I ended up using up a box of band aids.I am just now getting a handle on him. If it wasn't for my companion, that cock would have left the walk.
     
  10. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Mine is still young, almost 5 1/2mos (my first rooster too, he was suppose to be a she), and he really does know better right now than to challenge me. I picked him up and carried him around too to put him in his place before when he decided to challenge ME and get pissy with ME. I refuse to allow him to intimidate me anymore. Since learning about his behaviors and signs of anger I know when not to "mess" with him (he will shake his leg, roll his head around, puff out his feathers, and flap his wings trying to make himself look "bigger" than he is when he's agitated and his comb turns purple toward the back to the middle). He's a Buff Orpington so he's suppose to be a more "docile" cock compared to others. He steps sideways on me though and he'll be on the dinner table.
     

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