Little ones are pushing it!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    So we have 10 chickens in our big coop/run, free ranging during the day. We also have 4 youngin's, maybe 10 or 12 weeks old, in our small coop/run. They also have been free ranging for a week or so now. Over the last couple days, they've been seen intruding on the big run. Today, I saw them poking their head into the big coop. They've been chased out a bunch, but always come back in. Over the last few hours, they've been in the run sharing it most of the time with our older chickens.

    My question, is should I allow nature to take it's course, or force them to leave the big coop and continue in the smaller coop until I feel they are large enough to stand up for themselves if there is trouble? They have been free ranging together for nearly 2 weeks, all day. There has been some chasing and a little pecking, but nothing abnormal and no blood. My only worry is that they are on a different feed than the older ones. In fact, because the older ones have been going in the little coop during the day, I remove the medicated starter during the day, so that the older ones aren't eating it. If I was to allow free choice to all, they would certainly all be sharing each others food. Not sure how safe layer is for 10-12 week olds, and medicated starter is for layers?

  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    At 10-12 weeks, I'm pretty sure your juveniles can be removed from medicated starter (I'm thinking somewhere around 6 weeks is right, but check package). You can offer all starter/grower feed, unmedicated, with oyster shell on the side for adults. Let nature take it's course. I did same as you. They were fine & by 13 weeks fully integrated into same coop... still establishing pecking order, but no big issues.
  3. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    I've been told to switch them all to grower feed and then supplement some oyster shells for the big girls. We have to integrate soon as well.

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