One of my 3 month old chicks decided to shack up with the old gals tonight in the coop. Separate Imm

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Wink, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Wink

    Wink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 "old gals", about a year old....obviously pecking order has been established. I have 8 new chicks, hatch date of 1/9/12. So about 3 months old. The new girls have been growing up in an old pack and play but the weather here in Texas has been very mild. For the past couple weeks, I've been carting the new girls out to the coop/run, keeping them separated from the old gals with mesh netting.

    I've tried introducing a new gal (rotating) to the old gals under supervision, but Bella (old gal) walks over, pecks the new chick and rips out some feathers...the new chick peeps and tries to run back to the safety.

    The other day, I notice a new chick (let's call her Salt),has hopped up and is sitting in the top of the great divide mesh netting. I don't want her to hop over and be pecked to death, so I put up another mesh net, about 5 ft tall.

    This evening, I am about to load up the new chicks and cart them back to the house. By happenstance, I check the coop to say goodnight to my old gals....when lo and behold, Salt had apparently jumped the netting at one point, followed the older ladies into the coop and was trying to figure out how to get from her current perch to settle at the top with the old gals.

    So, I let the other chicks out, but they want nothing to do with the inside of the coop. meanwhile, Salt had managed to hop up and setlle alongside the old timers for the night and seemed quite content.

    She's in there now, but should I pluck her from her perch and bring her inside? I'm afraid of the morning ***** kicking if I leave her to fend for herself. Or should I wait till morning and just listen for the screeching before I intervene?

    As it is, the chicks have just starrted their "teenage" food, and obviously the old gals are eating layer pellets.

    Pull her or not?
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Hmmmm. About 9 weeks old, if that was the hatch date. If the youngster was 12 weeks old, I would definitely leave it be.

    But I'm still waffling about the 9 week old.. is there a safe place it can get to if the older gals gang up on it? Someplace they can't fit? If so, go ahead and let it stay with the Big Girls.
     
  3. Wink

    Wink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, no where for her to run....I wasn't going to combine them during the day, but I wasn't sure if the sleepover was a good idea! Do you think I should retrieve her?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My chickens grow up in a hard knock kind of coop... if a youngster shacked up in the layer coop vs going back to their own... I'd probably let them get the beating. But, my birds roam together starting very young, like 6 weeks old, and they have a lot of space to get away, or at least under a feeder if need be. If the little chick can get up to the high roost during the morning on it's own, or hide somewhere like in a nest box, I'd leave her.

    They'll learn to give the elders no eye contact and to stay 1.5 beaks away.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  5. Wink

    Wink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Love the 1.5 beak away reference! Well, I'll let her spend the night. And listen to the mayhem in the morning and retrieve if neccessary! She only has permission for the sleepover right now....not breakfast and beyond! ;-)
     
  6. tyjaco

    tyjaco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wink - I'm dying to know what happened! Did you leave her overnight? Was there a fight in the morning? Is she ok?
     
  7. Wink

    Wink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The old gals were milling around in the run this morning....little Salt was hanging out at the top of the ramp to the coop....she seemed fine. I wasn't sure if she was there for safety or trying to figure out her options. I swept her up anyhow and put her back with her age group...might allow her to spend the night and separate in the morning!
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, she's alive and well... I'd take that divider out between both groups and let the mayhem ensue. They'll figure it out no problem, and hey, salt plus the others might choose to shack up with the old ones on their own.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think you're making a mistake putting one younger chick in at a time. One by itself is just asking to get ganged up on. I'd say put them all in now, while they're still babies. Yep, the older hens will do just as you described, peck at the babies, make them cry and run away. Then, the hen says "well, now she know's I"M the boss" and that's often all there is to it. There may be more noise, some lost feathers, etc, but shouldn't be any blood. If you have enough room, and put something in the coop like a branch, or a trash can on it's side, something to break the line of sight and the littles can get behind, it should all be okay. This is what I do and I never have all the "integratiton problems" others seem to have.
     

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