why are my big hens hurtint my little hens


11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
why are my 17 weeok old hens pecking and tryn to keep my 10 week old hens from eating and drinking i separated them for a while and then i put them in the coop inside of a cage inside coop to try to familiarize them but they are man as heck to the little ones. i have to let the older ones out to free range for a bit just to feed the little ones and the big ones always got the little ones pinned in a corner
They are establishing dominance over them. If you were to put a little like that into a full grown flock of layers they would make short work of them. When you introduce birds of different ages they must be the same size or the larger hens will usually kill the smaller ones.
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well i hope they dont kill the little ones but i dont think they will they are growing so they wont be able to fight them to long
I introduced a full grown rooster into my layer flock last year and each hen in turn fought the rooster because he was roughly the same size as the hens. And that was after having them penned side by side for a week.
Pecking order....if I was going to put different age hens together, I would start to get them used to each other first, like maybe a smaller pen inside the bigger one? Just an idea. Of course ultimately when you put them together there is going to be that whole dominance thing.
Someone previously suggested putting your new ones in at night while the older bigger ones are sleeping. Supposedly they are too sleepy to notice for a while. They still would have to establish pecking order though.

Another idea is to hang a treat they really like to keep them distracted from pecking.
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