Mixing Babies With Bigger Babies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sneaky Chicken, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. Sneaky Chicken

    Sneaky Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2016
    The Garden State
    I have 6, 4ish month old pullets and 3 chicks under 3 months. The older girls are all different sizes, from 3lbs to 9lbs (the 9lb bird shows no interest in the babies), but the smaller ones are the about the same, maybe 2-2.5lbs.

    Ive had all of them in the coop together for about 3 weeks, separated by chicken fencing, which is working beautifully. The younger chickens and the older chickens all roam the yard at the same time but the older ones are still chasing and pecking at the smaller ones every so often (especially when food is around), some more so than others.

    Since the younger chickens are starting to get bigger, I wont be able to keep them separated too much longer. When is the right time to finally completely integrate them while in the coop? My main concern is their safety, as I have read horror stories about bigger birds killing the smaller ones.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Just to clarify, they're ranging together? If so, let them stay together in the coop also. Some chasing and pecking is normal, especially when food is the issue. The littles just learn to yield to the bigs, that's how it should be.
     
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  3. Sneaky Chicken

    Sneaky Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2016
    The Garden State

    They are ranging in the same space but not necessarily together.. is that okay? The little ones are getting braver and get a little closer to the rest of the flock every day, but they are still a little scared bc they get chased and pecked.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Behavior described is normal and not in itself a concern. So long as younger birds can get roost all should be fine. Problems arise when elder birds drive younger birds from coop as they go to roost living those outside vulnerable to predators. Squabbles outside can be reduced by putting food out in more locations that 50 feet or more apart. Once you are to the point the smaller birds can get into the coop at night, then risk of serious damage is greatly reduced.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is there a roost in the chicks area of coop now?
    Food and water there too?
    Are the littles going into their space on their own at night or are you putting them there?

    Just take down the barrier and let them work it out.
     
  6. Sneaky Chicken

    Sneaky Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2016
    The Garden State
    I have AMAZING news!

    Last night, the babies crawled into the side of the coop with the bigger babies all on their own before I had the chance to put them in their section and werent chased out! They spent the night in there and when I woke up, I ran right out, and even though someone was complaining (loudly, I might add), the babies were alive and well! This warms my heart so much!
     
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