Just moved 7 week olds into the coop. I am having fun!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hope119, May 17, 2011.

  1. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    We have 6 chickens from last years' incubator (1 roo, 4 hens laying, 1 broody mama with 3 babies – started incubator with 3 doz eggs hoping for a dozen layers) and 33 chicks from this years' incubator hatched around March 25 (started with 41 eggs).
    Our coop has 3 rooms and big chickens sleep in the left room where both nesting boxes are. Until last night, our broody was sleeping in one of the nesting boxes with her 3 babies (born around April 16th).

    Three nights ago we moved all 33 seven week olds from our basement into the coop. Dh especially built 2 roosts for them in the middle room. The last two nights they were settling for sleep all over the coop, in all three rooms, including some of them being on new roosts, but some at the top of the coop – at the roof and many other places. I've been moving some of them for the night to sleep on the new roost.
    So last night when I went to count and move them, I counted only 32 chicks. And where do you think the last one was? I found her/him under the wing of broody!! She decided to spend the night roosting instead of in the nest like she usually was doing with her 1 month old babies. So now she was sitting on the roost in the “big chickens room”, with 3 babies under one wing and this big one under the other! And she is the one who scares other chicks during the day – she did not even want to let them into the coop last night – I stood in the walkway to the big chickens room not letting her leave it to scary away the big chicks who were going inside behind me.

    Interesting, that last night as many chicks as could fit were sitting on a shelf in the big chickens room. They did not dare to sit on the roost with big chickens (except for that one under broody's wing), but came pretty close to big chickens to sleep on that shelf. I moved some of them to the roost in the adjacent room (the roost had 9 chicks already), which also stopped the noise as there was not enough room on the shelf for everyone who wanted to sleep there.

    Another interesting thing – that night when we were moving chicks into the coop broody was sleeping in the next box with her 3. When we brought the first 8 chicks they were complaining, of course. So the broody ran from her box towards our lights like crazy – she probably thought we are doing something to her chicks (that were, of course, in the box she just left). I am not sure if she is still replying to big chicks chirping, but she surely did at first.

    I am definitely having fun! [​IMG]
     
  2. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    That does sound fun! Did you do anything special to integrate the little and big ones, or just rely on the fact there are so many more little ones than big ones? I'm trying to figure out how to integrate my chicks now too! They're in the coop together, but separated for now.
     
  3. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Not really, did not do much special. I made them wake up in the same house (coop), little ones were in cage (with holes at one place big enough for them to get out, although only 2 did). They saw each other before - all of them were free-ranging, although little ones started from the house (basement) and big ones from the coop - the big ones come to the house while free ranging.
    I came in the morning and let everyone out. The next nights chicks did not sleep in the cage.
     

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