Older hens bullying chicks???

Scratchin' Around

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 2, 2008
New Sweden, Maine
I have 24 5 and 1/2 week old barred rocks and Ameraucanas. For the last week and 1/2, they have been sharing the coop with my 16 and 1/2 week old pullets (a silver-laced Wye, a Black Giant, 2 Barred Rocks, and 4 Ameraucanas). I divided the coop down the middle, so they can see each other, but the babies are protected from the big girls, as well as unable to go outside. I'd like to try to take the divider down tonight, when the big girls are asleep, as I'll be home to watch them tomorrow. And I have about a dozen questions.

Will the big girls hurt them? They have been nice to each other, but the little ones look really small comparatively.

Will the red heat lamp create enough light for the big girls to decide they don't have to sleep, but should stay up and pick on the babies while I'm sleeping?

Can these babies go outside? Our nighttime temps are starting to dip into the upper-20's. Tomorrow should be sunny, but with highs in the upper-40's.

And when can I take away the light completely? I've been raising it up little by little, but I've been fearful to take it away completely.


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
At 5&1/2 weeks, the chicks will still need the light. I think they would be better off still being in a brooder, until at least 8 weeks.
If you are unable to do this, you should try to have something for the little ones to hide in, in case the bigger ones do pick on them.
If they have been in the coop with the light, I don't think it would affect the older ones sleep. The benefits of a red light is that it discourages pecking.
As far as them going outside, though, I really don't know about that one. Hope someone else comes along.
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