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older hens and chicks avoiding each other - how long will it last?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crusting, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. crusting

    crusting In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    I have 2 two year old hens and 2 ten-week old pullets. They have been together in the same coop and run for about 2 weeks now (before that the chicks were in a cage in the run). They avoid each other all day long--the ten week olds hang out inside the coop when the older hens are in the run, and they switch places a couple of times during the day. Basically the younger ones run away from the older ones. I have been putting food and water inside the coop so the little ones will be able to get to it. I'm wondering how long this will go on--will they eventually eat and drink together and not run away from each other? I would like to stop putting the extra food and water inside the coop eventually because it's making a mess, and I want to train them all to go outside to eat and drink and hang out and go inside at night.

    Also, the younger ones are sleeping in the nesting boxes, I think because they feel safer from the older ones there--is that something to worry about? Will they eventually go up on one of the roosts, even if it means being closer to the older ones?

  2. billiejo21

    billiejo21 Chirping

    Oct 16, 2011
    This has always happened when I've introduced new birds into our flock (young or old)...it's just them establishing pecking order and eventually they'll figure it out!! As far as the food goes, if they little ones are getting out into the run are they eating when they are out there?? If you see them eat and drink while in the run, I wouldn't worry about feeding them inside...unless your older hens are eating all the feed before the little ones get to it!!! I still have a couple of hens who are on the bottom of the pecking order who sleep in the nesting boxes or on the ramp up to the roosts...again, I think it has to do with pecking order. Good luck and congrats on your "teenagers"!! [​IMG]
  3. HollyBird24

    HollyBird24 Crowing

    Nov 10, 2011
    Manitoba, Canada
    It might take a few weeks for them to get used to each other. One thing I should mention though is that I wouldn't let your younger birds sleep in the nest boxes. If they start thinking that they can sleep there all the time they might keep on doing it even when they are comfortable around the adults. It makes a mess of the boxes and your eggs will be poopy.
  4. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    Three months seems to be the magic number. I've introduced two new batches this summer and one last. Something magical happens at the 3-4 month mark.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
  6. billiejo21

    billiejo21 Chirping

    Oct 16, 2011
    Thankfully mine sleep in the lower nesting boxes and all my girls lay in the upper ones...but I do agree...poop in nesting boxes is not fun! I am cleaning mine every morning and putting new straw in there, just in case someone decides they'd like to lay in there!!! I don't know of any good ways to keep them out, besides blocking them off at night I guess...wouldn't work if you have an early morning layer though! Good luck!

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