What's up with my older chicks with the new ones?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cjpines, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three 10 month old female chicks. At age 4 months I introduced them to 3 more 8 wk newbies. I first separated them by a wire fence day and night for 6 weeks, then we introduced them together only during the day for weeks, then into the coop.

    The three newbies stayed together outside for a long time, then they wanted to make friends with the older girls, but the older girls didn't want anything to do with them, just kept to themselves.

    Then finally they all seemed to be getting along except during treat time the older ones would chase them away.

    Anyway, it's been 5 months and now the older girls are biting the newbies when they eat and I give them treats. They never bit them before, what's going on.

    Has anyone suddenly had their chicks decide to bite the newcomers after such a long time of no biting?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds normal to me. The little ones are now big enough to threaten the established flock hierarchy and the bigger ones are reacting to that.
     
  3. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, didn't think of that. Hoping they won't draw blood. Tks.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Have the younger ones stared laying recently?
    Do you have plenty of room in the coop for all of them?
    Are they spending more time in the coop because of winter weather?

    Pecking orders can change.
     
  5. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, the younger ones haven't started laying yet.
    There is plenty of room in the coop. The older ones perch together and the younger ones together on another perch at night.
    When it's cold they all spend time in the coop, but will come out at times just to stretch.

    The younger ones are now almost the same size as the older ones.

    Now we only have two older ones laying one egg a day. The third chick stop laying 4 months ago and seemed to be in molt. Hum, waiting for her to start gain.
     
  6. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What happened today is two older birds cornered and hopped on the little bird biting while the little one was screaming. I had to break it up. I'm worried the younger one will get killed. Does this happen often?
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you lean some plywood along the sides of your run, or make other hiding places? Maybe put out another feeding and watering station? I would leave them unless they're drawing blood. Chicken society isn't always pretty.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is your coop (feet by feet)?
    Are there places to hide out of line of sight and up and away from other birds?

    Sounds awfully strange for birds that have lived together OK for 5 months.
    Wonders if the one being abused is sick.....flock animals will 'drum out' and weak/sick animal that may draw predators.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Very good points. "Plenty of room in the coop" doesn't say how big it really is.
     
  10. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This happened when I put out 4 dishes of food, veggies, fruit, etc. I spread the plates of food all around the pen so everyone gets their share, but it didn't work. I think I'll try your idea, hiding places and hiding plates of food.
     

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