Now What?!?! The babies want to roam!

LABElle1225

Songster
Jun 23, 2018
164
251
126
Hello and Thank you for trying to help!!!
Our BIG girl flock has 15 laying hens, 3 (6 month old) pullets, and 2 (6 month old) Standard Brahma roo brothers.
They are free range 5 acres with full access to their coop and 1/2 of a 40x60 barn during the day.
I have 14 (3 month old) babies - no clue on gender. They have always been housed in the barn with a super small attached run. The bigs can see and hear them just not mingle.
Well the babies are done with being in-prisoned. When I open the door 14 babies attempt (and succeed) escape. Half of my hens interact wonderful with them, the other half and Roos chase them around.
What the heck should I do? They are clearly unhappy and want to roam.
What’s the next step???
Should I let them explore by day then roost/ sleep separate?
I’m concerned about the Roos and possible predator attacks.
Note-
I am home with a clear view of barn / coops 75% of the time and have security cameras in the coops and on the property.
My 10+ pound Brahma brothers are still being pushed around by the hens.
The 6 month old pullets (Black Stars)lived with the babies until about 2 weeks ago.
ALL of the babies are the same size or larger than our bantam Cochin.
They are all mixes from our hens and roosters sent to freezer camp.
The older hens are Brahma, RIR, EE, Cochin (bantam), BR, and RSL.
 

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
2,592
286
Katy TX
Once my babies refuse to be imprisoned I just let em roam! If theyve been in eyesight if the older birds for a while then it may be annoying to them but they shouldn't go full on attack unless the babies get in the way and if it happens while free ranging atleast the littles have lots of hiding places! Predators are an issue if the babies wander and if they do it repeatedly herd them to somewhere safer and more interesting for them till they run there as soon as let out. Chicken speak alarm call wise is pretty universal though, so as long as someone spots a pred ahead of time the babies should get the message based on your older birds actions to hide. when starting flocks from scratch id blow a whistle every time a dog or hawk popped up to catch the attention of my pullets and whithin 2 weeks my birds would perform alarms automatically and run for cover no help needed! Now my pigeons will also respond to the chickens hawk alarms. So it's a good warning system for them too XD
 

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
2,592
286
Katy TX
Ps I would be carefully if you birds have gotten sick before and you have unvaccinated babies they obviously have a very high death toll their first year of life like any bird species so preventing illness in chicks is vital! Also make sure to double check plants on your property hens will pass along information of poisonous plants and animals but the new pullets may not recieve that lesson
 

LABElle1225

Songster
Jun 23, 2018
164
251
126
Thanks guys! We did vac them (well my husband did) it was an experience... I had to order enough for hundreds then toss the leftovers. Whichever babies are boys do ok with the big dudes tomorrow!
 

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