New to chicks and everything was fine until I introduced new 5 older hens to our 2 months old chicke

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Eli1977, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2016
    We are new to the chicken keep but have done some research and got some advice as well. We build a new spacious coop with Nipple system and PVC feeding system. Got new chicks that were 2 weeks old and we started. Everything was fine we had 7 chickens. One night a racoon got in the coop and killed my favorite gal. So we were down to 6.friend of mine heard and offered me a free chickens. 5 older (2 yrs old) hens. They are black and red sex links. Our Littles are orpington. My friend just said putput them in the coop together for a week and they will figure out the pecking order. Well after 4 days of absolute terror my poor Littles look sick have diarrhea and are terrified of the old hens. The old ones won't let them drink or eat. My Littles only cower in a corner all huddled up. The old ones haven't yet figured out how to drink out of the Nipple system so they were without water for 3 straight days and it's 90 +. I finally put a tub full of water for them in the coop. I have also started on day 2 letting ours go in the run so they can eat and drink in peace. I have read somewhere that if hens bully to put the bullies in a separate brood box. So we did. We put the worst 3 in the brood box. It's a see through box and it's in the coop. I am worried of the outcome. Help or I just may have a 5 orders of chicken soup.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us. First of all, at 2 months, the youngsters are too young to be put into a coop with older chickens and expected to fend for themselves, I disagree with your friend there. The best way forward is to keep the youngsters separated, but in sight of the older hens until they are bigger, at least for another month. As for the watering… put bowls of water down, as back-up, until they have sussed out the nipples.

    Here's some more reading that may help you:

    Best of luck!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Jucodeo

    Jucodeo The Sky is Falling!

    [​IMG] and [​IMG]
    @Eli1977 I am very sorry to hear about your chicken that passed away :( I can understand as raccoons have taken a couple of mine. Well its sounds like we have a little bit of a dilemma here! So what I would suggest going along with sumi is that you should NOT keep the little ones near the older ones. Right now my flock has 6 chickens 4 of which are 3 and a half months and 2 are 13 months. What happens in my flock is the older ones are a bit dominate of food and the younger ones are not afraid, but do not stand up to them. I would suggest keeping the younger ones in isolation from the older ones for at least a month and maybe a couple weeks after that. Then you can introduce them again, and by then they should be close to same size and the older ones should respect them and take them in. All the best of luck and follow those links and I can guarantee if you are able to do this your restaurant will be all out of chicken soup which is always good on here!
    Justin [​IMG]
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I'm sorry to hear about your raccoon attack and all the trouble you are having right now. I too agree with Sumi that they are too young to be with the older hens. From what you have described they sound pretty down in the dumps with serious stress. I would get them out of there ASAP so they can begin to recover. Days without water really is not good.

    Please do check out the links left for you, I'm sure you will find them most helpful.

    Good luck with your flock :fl
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I agree with everybody here. Babies this young are very fragile and even an accident can mortally wound a small chick. I like to wait until the chickens are at least 3 months, if not 4 months of age. Chicks need to grow in size, strength and mental prowess to be able to deal with and outsmart older birds.

    And when you do mix in older chicks, ALWAYS put out more food and water stations as the older flock will guard these areas and literally starve out the babies. Chicks can actually die of starvation in a flock with only 1 food and water station. I like to at 2 more when adding chicks, you can remove one of these later on once they get worked into the flock.

    Good luck with your flock and we do welcome you to our flock! :)
  6. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2016
    Thank you all sweet cluck friends. It seems impossible to divide the coop and so I remembered that we have an old tractor coop that became a hiding place for our dog. I will try to clean it out put some fresh hay and herbs in nesting box there and a delish scraps and scratch with molasses in it hoping the big ladies will like it. It is near the house so watering will be easy until they figure out the Nipple system. Any ideas if the young chicks will recover? And should we let the old hens graze once they get use to new place?
  7. Eli1977

    Eli1977 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2016
    Update on the bullies. They are in the tractor coop and everyone has gone bedy byes for now our great pyrenees dog was really excited to have friends but not sure how long will that last we are going to keep the gals in there indefinitely at least until the others grow up some.thank you all very much for advice
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Nice to meet you Eli, Welcome to Backyard chickens.
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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