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One 10 week old chick living alone? Integrating to coop question.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missouri 17, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Missouri 17

    Missouri 17 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    I posted last week, I mistakingly put my 8 week old chicks in with the hens after 2 weeks of having a cage next to the coop, having a safe place to escape, etc. The hens killed a chick so I put the remaining two chicks behind chicken wire so the hens can live in the same coop but not hurt them. My plan was to integrate them when the chicks turned 16 weeks old. Somehow, the two red sussex hens got into the chicks side and killed a chick, hurt another chick. I'm heartbroken. The injured chick will be ok and is now living next to the coop in a cage by herself. She can see the hens but can't be hurt by them. My plan is to intro again in the middle of the night (I keep reading to do this) at 16 weeks. Can she defend herself against 3 hens or will they kill her? I"m very nervous about this but I can't leave her in a cage her whole life.

    Will she be okay alone for 6 more weeks?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    BTW, the chick is a Buff Orpington, the three hens are two red sussex and a black sussex. The black sussex seems to be the nicest of the three big girls towards the chick.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    Have you tried to let them run around and free range a bit together? Have you tried to put the 1 in with the weakest pecking order older pullet? Just let them play and establish something? Then with the 2 weakest girls and let them play? There may be a safe harbor they establish? This isolates the strongest girl from starting the hurting and enforcing the pecking order. I am just saying. Have you sat down and put the treats down with this 1 girls and another weak pullet? This is the most dangerous situation for the younger bird bc its the most competitive and there is a courtesy given the strongest gets to eat first bc its the strongest and that's all there is to it. Right? I would try it with a low chair and 1 older weak pullet and the young pullet and a bowl with some hard boiled egg, or cut grapes or rice and a foot right in front of you in a chair either feed the 2 with a treat out of your hand or a bowl and referee if you have to and see what happens over a couple of days doing that in the morning with 1 or 2 different weaker birds to introduce her around food and do it this way bc you can control what happens. If you have all of them out or to many you cant control her not getting hurt or it being more difficult. Good luck
  3. Winisk

    Winisk In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    That is rough. I have a single two month old chick that I'm trying to integrate with the larger flock. During the day I leave it in a seperate pen that the chick is safe in but can still be noticeable and observe the others. There was a couple hens that were aggressive towards it and they were lower on the pecking order. I guess this was their opportunity to gain rank so to speak. I do let the chick free range with them now while I observe. It stays close to me for protection. With time the other birds basical ignore it while it runs away from any confrontation. AS I gained confidence, I let them interact in the coop in small episodes. It runs around in there and tries to hide for the most part but I fear that if let alone with the others all day , it may get ganged up on. I will do this routine until it grows larger and more confident with the others. I try to let their behaviour dictate to me what the proper timing is. Good luck.

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