Question and problem(s)............


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 16, 2012
I have 24 chicken who are 2 and 3 weeks old. They outgrew their brooder which was about 2' x 4'. They started picking the feathers out of some of the chicks. We decided to move them to the big coop outside. I only have one coop and 5 big hens (Barred Rocks) and a BR rooster. We set up a makeshift coop for my big girls and boy since they are so few and my little ones are so plenty. My big chickens have always free ranged during the day because we live on a huge farm in the country. So, we lured the big guys into the makeshift coop and shut them up. The litte ones were in the big coop shut up from going into the run. Went down to check on them later in the even and found the big guys ROOSTING on the top of the run to the big coop! Couldn't get them down! This morning, they had flown down into the run! They couldn't get into the big coop with my babies because I had rigged their door shut so they couldn't get into the run until I could make sure I had all the holes plugged to let the babies out. I let my big guy and girls out of the run. I know they feel displaced, but there is nothing I can do at this point because I have no where else to keep my babies. I don't want 24 new ones, but I have no idea who is a boy and who is a girl. My question is this?

1. What are the chances that my big guy and girls will kill the babies if they end up together, now?

THanks in advance for the advice.
If you have a huge farm, don't you have someplace in the barn where you could keep the chicks, like an empty stall or something? Just wondering.

Adult chickens can definitely kill or injure a chick. Can you put a little wire fence or something to divide them in the run? Or what about putting a little something down so the chicks can run underneath it, like a pallet on some bricks, just low enough for the babies to run and hide, drink and eat under.

Those are just a few ideas I have......I hope you work something out....

We do have a place to keep them at the barn, but its too far away from the house for me to get to them without riding the four wheeler.

I would like to let the chicks have free range of the run during the day, but my run isn't enclosed on the top and I am afraid the big chickens will fly in. I really had no idea they could fly high enough to even roost on the run! The run is made of several old dog pens put together with chicken wire around it to keep the chickens out and the predators. Maybe I can throw some netting over the run to keep the big guys out during the day? I just don't know.

I THINK, I can section off part of the coop for the little guys so everyone can share space at night, but they are having so much fun with all the new space. Flying around and just really having a ball! I hate to herd them back into a smaller space. The coop is an old shed converted so its probably 10' x 10'.
I think you've hit the nail on the head! Just get some poultry netting and throw it over the top. That should work. I have no idea if your adult birds would get tangled up in that.....It would be something to watch for.
Well.......I rigged up something and I do mean RIGGED. I literally stapled chicken wire into a portion of the coop to create a "jail" for the babies. One of my hens was so torn up she had been out of the coop for 24 hours that she came in while I was working a laid a beautiful egg for me. I have never witnessed a hen laying an egg up close and personal. It was really neat! We will see how it goes. I fixed it so that the chicks could be "let out" into the big coop once my big guy and girls go free range during the day. We shall see. I am a little nervous, but I guess its in God's hands now! Lots of the chicks kept escaping from their "jail," but I fixed all the holes. It really won't be easy to get their food and water out, but we will make it work for a couple of weeks until they are big enough to take on the big guys. On a positive note, the hen that came in and laid could have cared less about the babies. She didn't even give them a passing glance, but maybe with nothing but chicken wire seperating them, they will adjust to one another sooner. Now, I am just anxious to see how many are cockerels from the 24. I have one beautiful boy that is full grown and I don't need any more. How soon before you can really tell? I have no idea what breed they are. THey came from lots of eggs from friends and were hatched in an incubator. I do know that I have 3 that are part Maran. That's about it! They are all GORGEOUS!
Trying to round up chicks is like trying to herd cats........................just saying!

I went in the run today to water the babies as my big girls were out. 4 found one tiny hole in the gate where it was slightly open and off they went! I just spent the better part of 2 hours trying to get those 4 back in. LOL! They are so sweet though! When I left them, they were digging down in a bright patch of sun that was in the run. They were so cute!
SNAKE! Been down checking on my babies all day. Noticed my big guys calling like crazy. Went to the coop and their was a snake in there. My hen didn't care because as soon as I opened the door, she went in and laid an egg. The snake quickly went out the hole he came in. I have blocked the hole. I am just worried about my babies! I am almost to the point of just shutting my 4 hens and 1 rooster up with them to protect them. UGGGGG!!!! I can't get anything done for worrying about these chicks!

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