NEED HELP - Ugly Introduction

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by John01, May 13, 2009.

  1. John01

    John01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2008
    I put my 4 9 week old hens in the coop with my 15 month old hens on Sunday. Its been looking pretty ugly with a lot of bullying and it seems like they corner the little ones & keep them away from food & water.

    When I get home I let the older ones out to free range and make sure the little ones get some water & food.

    Is this bullying gonna stop or is someone gonna get killed?
    I really can't do much else because I'm gone at work all day and don't have a second coop.

    Looking for advice....
     
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Take them out, they will be killed. They need to be at least 6 months old before you put them in with older, larger chickens.

    Is there any way you could section off part of your coop for them? That would be the easiest solution, aside from constructing another pen.
     
  3. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    When I integrated younger chicks with older ones last summer I just used a scrap length of chicken wire to divide off their pen into two sections. I put food and water on both sides and let them get used to seeing each other without being able to get at each other. After a couple of weeks I rolled the partition back at one end for a while each day - while I was there to supervise and intervene if necessary - and then I put it back up. After a couple weeks of that I took the divider down completely. There was some chasing around, but nothing dramatic, and they settled down with each other just fine after awhile. Mine were closer in age than yours are - it may take more time in your case than it did in mine. Also, mine were both very docile breeds, which I'm sure made a difference.
     
  4. Blisskat

    Blisskat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2009
    We started to let our chicks out with the larger population when they were at about 3 months. My husband had made a low, long box out of plywood with several holes large enough that the chicks could escape into if they felt the need, but the larger chickens could not get in after them. He also strung a light into the box for extra warmth.
    The box stays on the floor of the coop until we can see that everyone is getting along, and no chick is getting beat-up all the time.

    When we let the adult chickens out in the afternoon to free-range, the chickies love having the run of the coop to run around, flounce and play-fight with each other.
     
  5. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    I agree with building a temporary section that the younger one can escape to. I use an old piece of 6x6 wire farm fencing that I lean against a wooden fence and building, then block off the other end. I put food and water in the enclosed space. When the little ones are getting bullied or want to eat or drink undisturbed they just run through the 6" squares and the bigger hens can't get in there.
    Another option is to put a piece of plywood propped up on cinder blocks. You can put food and water way in the back corner and the younger chicks can run way under the plywood for protection , food and water. Use the smaller 4" width when they are little and flip to the bigger 6" side as they grow. I have a 1/2 sheet of plywood like this in my pen all the time for baby chicks that get seperated from their mom or are looking for a cool place to take a nap undisturbed. iTs also a favorite place for them to learn to dig and dust undisturbed.
    I introduce mine at 3-4 months old, never had a problem as long as they had a place to hide. All my hens are full sized big mommas, so you mileage may vary if you have a bunch of those scrawny banties running around

    Aloha,
    Cory
     

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