Our three two year old hens are bullying our eight 12 week old pullets, suggestions??

Smiling Angel

Chickens R Us
7 Years
Mar 28, 2014
96
33
126
Central New Jersey
We integrated our flock of eleven a couple of weeks ago. While the older ones don't seem to be pecking or hurting the littles, they do bully them around. Our coop has two levels, and it seems like the hens keep chasing the pullets back up into the upper loft of the coop. We are worried that they aren't getting enough time on the floor where the food and water is. Will this eventually work itself out, or is there anyway we can speed this process up? Today, I ended up letting the hens out to free range in our large yard. When I do this, the pullets finally fly down and eat and drink like it's going out of style.

The coop is plenty big for all of them, so they aren't crowded. Suggestions welcome. Thanks!
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,203
491
Long Beach, WA
For right now, it seems like typical territorial behavior. You should have food and water in the upper part for the chicks. If your coop isn't big enough to accomplish this, it probably isn't big enough 11 grown hens either. How big do you think is 'plenty' big? Your chickens might have a different idea of how much space is needed.
 

Smiling Angel

Chickens R Us
7 Years
Mar 28, 2014
96
33
126
Central New Jersey
Well, doubled the size to 8 feet by 8 feet, the loft goes all across the 8 foot back, and our 16 foot run will be finished next week. We also let them free range quite a bit on our property, which is three acres. I was thinking about putting food and water up there, but wasn't sure I wanted to go that route, as the food and water arrangement is perfect, and doesn't have to be fooled with more than every two weeks. For now, we have been keeping an eye on things. The pullets aren't starving by any means. Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,203
126,253
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Does sound territorial.
Multiple food/water station is almost an absolute essential when integrating younger birds.
Getting the run done should give the pullets more feeding time if all the older hens go out there.

A second water station might be a good idea tho, dehydration can be lethal once it gets warmer.
I've had to do that due to a similar situation......but I top off food and water everyday so as to keep a good eye on things.
 

Smiling Angel

Chickens R Us
7 Years
Mar 28, 2014
96
33
126
Central New Jersey
Thanks for your input! They seem to get a little better each day, and the younger ones are getting more time on the floor level. I let the three bullies out for some free ranging, and the pullets had the run and the coop to themselves. They are learning that their is some strength in numbers!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom