troubles introducing 7 week chicks to two 15 week pullets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by math ace, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    I have been raising 15 chicks in their brooder / bitty cage. . Now they are feathered and the weather is warmer (in Florida), so I tried to transition them to the coop. They are 7 weeks old.

    Today, they met the only residents of the coop - - 2 Wyandottes that are 15 weeks old. The Wyandottes have been calmed and reserved birds until today. The invasion of the babies has not gone well. At last observation, one Wyandotte pulled two tail feathers out of one of my young leghorns. The babies are trying to avoid the Wyandottes, but that is not good enough for the Wyandottes.

    What should I do? Should the two bigger and older Wyandottes stop this aggressiveness soon. Should I pull the two Wyandottes out until the babies get bigger?
     
  2. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    These two hens think they have the run of the place, so until the 7 week olds are big enough to defend themselves, I don't think you can run them together without worry.

    The might stop after a while, but obviously if the little ones are already staying out of their way, and they are still being picked on, there is clearly nothing they can do to stay outta harms way yet.

    Common advice would be to try to create a SEPERATED area within the larger coop... that has a SMALL hole/doorway only big enough for the little ones to get inside of. They are not so different in size though so that might be difficult for you to do. But it's still worth a try. Concept being that the little ones can run away to a safe place where the bigger bullies can't get to them so easily.
     
  3. Turkenlover

    Turkenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was able to integrate two different age groups using the following trick: I removed the larger birds from the main coop and gave the smaller birds the run of it. The two larger birds I kept in a separate kennel inside the coop. I then only allowed ONE larger bird out into the larger coop at a time with the smaller birds. For some reason, this made the older chicken waaay less of a bully when she didn't have anyone to help her. I waited one week, until the older bird felt it was now a member of the "younger flock" before releasing the remaining older bird.

    It worked for me!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    OK TURKENLOVER, I like this idea.
    I checked on them this morning and the big ones were still picking. I didn't actually see the picking because they were in the coop, but I heard the babies crying.

    So, I will try to pull the two bigs ones out an put them in the bitty cage inside the run and see what happens when I introduce them back one at a time.

    The one bigger bird seems to be more of a bully than than other. Should I reintroduce her first or wait until the least aggressive one blends into the flock of babies?
     
  5. Turkenlover

    Turkenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would go with the least aggressive one first. That's what I did. I will keep my fingers crossed for you!
     

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