Too soon to put the chicks out with the big girls?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kristenm1975, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have 10 five week old pullets who are fully feathered and having lots of trouble picking at each other in their brooder. I'm wondering if it might be time to stick them in the big coop.

    I have 7 hens and none seem to be very aggressive. The run is big, there's a hiding spot under the coop for them to get away to if they're being bothered, and I already have a light on in their coop so I can just swap the normal bulb out for a heat lamp until the chicks get used to the new environment.

    The temps here range from 38 at night to 55 during the day. I've been decreasing the heat in the brooder and have just today shut off the supplemental heat, as the brooder sits in full sun and gets quite warm on its own.

    I'm desperate to try to quell this awful picking their doing. Several of them are bloody and I want to see it stopped right away.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. You might not have good luck with putting bloody chicks in with the older chickens, as they will probably peck the bloody ones also. If you have time, I'd say watch to see who the main instigators are and then separate them from the less aggressive chicks. You could also try puting juvenile or game bird pinless peepers on all of the babies.
  3. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    For me, I use a 28 x28 inch cage (rabbit cage) inside of the coop where the hens are and keep it there for a week. After a week or two, I would let them out at night and perch them on the perch with the older birds. Then by morning they seem to get along fine or they herd up together with plenty of spaces to get away if they need to, something like barriers or hay bales so the older hens needs to get around things to chase the babies. Alot of times it all depends on the room, feed and health of your older birds. A contented flock is a good sign.

    If they got bloody heads or anything like that, like realm said, go that route.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Could you section off part of the run for them during the day, and put them back in the brooder at night? Or rig up a crate with a heat lamp in the sectioned off area? I really think getting them out into the run during the day would help with the picking. Mine are the same age and I have the same quandary--the temps at night really seem too cold around here, but during the day it is nice, and I really think they need to get out. (Frantically building a new coop for my hens, so the chicks can have the old "baby" coop).

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