Transition 6.5 Week Olds In With A 2 Year Old?

9SpiceyChickens

Crowing
Jul 24, 2018
987
8,783
492
In the coop, Northern CA
We have 1 full grown, 2 year old hen I'm not here to talk about how I have only 1 alone, so get over it! I also have 2 6.5 week old chicks. 1 is a Cochin the other an Austrolorp. They are almost all feathered (it looks like at least) and I want to move them out to the big girl coop. They have met through the fence before, but once (the only time they've free ranged together) Bubblegum (big girl) pecked Skipper (Austrolorp) on the head. Is there a way I can minimize the pecking? I know some will happen, but it hurts me to see my babies get pecked.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,075
198
Central Virginia
No, they will peck. See pic, chick got a peck! They learn quick. Video of my transition method attached.

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,008
125,656
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I know some will happen, but it hurts me to see my babies get pecked.
get over it! ;)

They understand the pecking.
Watch closely, after yelling bloody murder they most likely just go back to chickeny things.
Just make sure you have lots of space so the chicks can get away(6+") from the hen s she doesn't think they are are being insubordinate.

How big is your coop and run?
Dimensions and pics would help here.


Here's some tips that might help....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

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