Little ones first night in coop...night 2...will they ever get along?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by my first peepers, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. my first peepers

    my first peepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    Tonight my two 12 week old pullets are spending the night in the coop with the three 21 week old pullets and one roo. They have been seeing each other during the day for a couple of weeks now but because of my set up I've had to return the little ones to their quarantine pen at night. During the day they have mostly observed each other through fence, have free ranged together a little but mostly ignore each other. Any direct interaction has involved chasing and pecking by the big ones and a lot of noise from the little ones! This evening the little ones decided to go in the big ones' pen and while they were in there the big ones came home. I closed the door and watched closely. Aside from a little pecking they did fine. When the big ones went to bed the little ones went in and came back out of the coop. I waited until the big ones were settled in and stuck the little ones back in the coop. They wouldn't sleep on the roost but everyone seemed fine. I set up a box in one corner that they can hide in if they get attcked but I'm really worried about what might happen in the wee hours of the morning! Do I need to go out there at the break of dawn and check on them? When do chickens wake up? What do you experienced chicken mixers think? I'm not going to get much sleep tonight!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  2. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    Well, you did the right thing by gradually introducing them all. This was my first mistake... I added three hens with 11 chickens/roosters on the day I got my hens and the chicken coop was rockin' for about a week. So, I learned from that lesson and gradually introduced 7 babies in with the big ones. They did great. The first night or two the babies wouldn't go to the roost but about the 3rd day they were up there with all the rest. As for the morning time... I didn't see any problems but I usually open their doors to let them all out of the coop at daybreak. Unless they get crowded and want out they should be fine.

    My biggest problem was when it came time for them all to get on their roost. They would fight over a particular place they wanted to sit and babies would often get pecked in order to move to another post. Once it's dark at night you should have NO troubles because they can't see well enough to peck at the babies.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. my first peepers

    my first peepers Chillin' With My Peeps

    244
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    119
    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    Well, they survived the first night. I went out at the crack of dawn and actually woke them up! The big ones were not nice to the little ones this morning though so I kept them seperated during the day when I was gone and couldn't watch. When we got home I let them all out and the big ones went about their business while the little ones stayed near the coop. Any time the big ones got near them they were aggressive, maybe even more than before! Tonight the little ones went into the coop by themselves but the big girls were still chasing them around in the run. How long will this take? It seems like they've been getting used to each other for weeks! Will the big ones ever stop picking on the little girls? The less dominant of the two little ones runs around scared and squaking even if the big ones aren't bothering her...she almost draws more attention to herself!
     

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