Will they ever get along? (now with pics)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HappyTalons, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. HappyTalons

    HappyTalons Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    So we have an interesting flock composition and we've been trying to get our 2 younger chicks to integrate with the other 4 for about 4 days now. None are adults technically most were gotten from a feed store at older than just hatched so ages are approximate.

    We have:

    Black Australorp @ 15 weeks (She was the only one to survive a dog attack and essentially raised the other three)
    2 black sex links @ 11 weeks
    A barred rock (easily the smallest) @ 9 weeks

    And the new ones, two EEs @ 6 weeks old

    They all have been allowed to see one another occasionally from the very beginning (smaller chicks being given outings to the yard while the others were free ranging) The older pullets were always aggressive towards the EEs and there were some really vicious attacks very early on (we originally had 5 EEs but are down to two after giving the others away). We have one relatively small coop with a run and a medium sized fenced yard.

    We tried the put the chicks on the roost at night trick for two nights in a row. They were left alone on the roost but the minute we brought them down with the others, chasing and pecking began I even observed a few pecks on the roost itself. Though not overly vicious it was almost impossible for the chicks to get away in the small coop. So I put the chicks in their own cage inside the run in the morning for a few hours for a couple of days before I let them all out to free range in the yard. Together in the yard there is more chasing though less pecking because the chicks can get away pretty easily. The last 3 days or so they've been hiding under the deck during much of the day (though I have been careful to make sure they have access to food and water. They will also come out and munch on our tasty clover and they seem to be getting braver every day. The older group will generally leave them alone as long as they are a good distance away (though still within sight).

    The chicks have for the last two nights been roosting on their own on the bar a level down from the older crew. They almost cooped themselves last night but were a little confused as to how to get back in. This morning though it seems there was chasing and pecking the moment they got off the roosts. I let them out because it was very clear it was going to get ugly staying in the run and there was a big chase/peck fest on the top of the deck which continued until the chicks hid themselves underneath.

    The main culprit of the chasing and pecking is the barred rock. But once she gets into it in full swing she will draw the BSLs and sometimes even our docile australorp into the action (though this is fairly rare). I'm beginning to wonder if this is ever going to work itself out. They are fine enough in the same yard together but the older group won't tolerate the younger ones being close to them at all unless they are roosted or sleeping.

    I was considering separating the barred rock from the others for a while but I'm not sure that will help. She is quite friendly with humans but so vicious with the little ones! The chicks will not fight back at all though the two will chest bump with one another a bit when the others are not around.

    Any advice? Just keep waiting?

    Here are some shots of the young ladies in question . . .

    The smarter of the two EEs, Jasmine.
    [​IMG]

    The not as smart and foolishly brazen, Goldilocks.
    [​IMG]

    The Bully of the four older pullets, Shanah. She's in my husband's hands so you can tell her size just a bit.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  2. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    I put 12 baby jersey giants in with my breeder birds 2 australop's hens 1 roo I had the same problem at first even found one dead. after a few days of the big birds realizing i wasnt taking them anywhere. (the chicks 4 weeks old now) the rooster of all birds now lays there with his feathers down so the little guys can hid under his wings. Funny thing is there his babys and i dare you to try to get one. (ouch) Persistancy worked for me. I always put babys in with adult birds I dont have any rocks of any sort minus CxR but all my links and lopes and RiR's seem to be very docile and sweet to the babys.
     
  3. miladachicken

    miladachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2009
    Oregon
    Quote:I'm curious about what his name is... (We used to have a very sweet ee roo that was named Big Mamma, just because he was the biggest ''hen''.


    HappyTalons: I think that everyone will become friends eventialy. It is probably very hard for them to bond because of the current size difference. (Adolescents, not chicks)

    Good Luck![​IMG]
     
  4. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I have 7 hens that are 1yr old and 6 chicks that are almost 10 wks old. They have adjoining runs and have seen each other for over a month. Last week I started letting the little ones out with the big ones during free range time in the evening. No real problems. This week I let the little ones join the big girls in the run during the day. The big girls chase them a little and there a few pecks, but the little ones know how to get back into their safe area where their food and water is. So far, all is working pretty well, but we haven't tried sleeping together yet. I will also add, we have a very large run - almost 700 sq ft so there is lots of room to run away. I think with the ages as close as yours, they will eventually learn to at least tolerate each other. I saw a big & little girl taking a dust bath within a few feet of each other today and was excited! Good luck.
     
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Goldilocks looks just like my 1yr old EE - Buffy. I don't know if she is intellectually challenged, but she is very skittish. She will eat out of my hand, but never lets me pet or pick her up without a chase. My othr EE is as friendly as can be.
     
  6. HappyTalons

    HappyTalons Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    Goldy and Jasmine are happy to be petted and often to be picked up. Frequently they'll even jump up to be petted. Right now they really respond to the sound of my voice and will follow me around the yard.
    The older pullets have taken to following me around too, though I think it is jealousy of the little ones making them do it.

    What I mean by Goldy being "intellectually challenged" is she keeps coming up to the older pullets when it is obvious they are about to attack. Jasmine is a much better reader of them and will generally get out of the way before she gets pecked.

    Today it seems like their behavior was actually worse than the days before, one of the older pullets (not the bully this time instead one of the BSLs) was jumping off of their roosts and attacking the young ones as they tried to roost themselves. We had to give her a harsh "talking to" before she would stop harassing them. So now they're on the far roost bar away from the others (before they were right up next to them). I'm somewhat concerned as to what is going to happen in the morning. But I'll be up at 6 am again to break anything violent up. . . .
     
  7. HappyTalons

    HappyTalons Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    So this morning my husband got the brilliant idea of letting the older pullets out before the younger ones got up! (Why didn't I think of that) The little ones took their time getting down from the roost and getting breakfast in the coop for several hours. Eventually they too left the coop and scurried under the deck again. Unfortunately the older pullets also like to be under the deck and usually there's some chasing involved.

    I have been checking on both groups every few hours during the transition to see how they are doing. And it seems like the little ones will find a hiding place and the older ones will decide it's really awesome and take it over. So the little ones keep finding new places to hang out during the day (though usually not too far from the others).

    Today they've decided to hide on top of the deck way over in one of the shady corners where there are a bunch of spare pots left over from our planting sprees. I would never have seen them, but I always call them when I go out and they respond with their higher tone of peeps (distinct from the others) so it's never too hard to find them. I of course always bring them food and water wherever they are. This sometimes causes a problem though if the older ones see it and try to monopolize.

    But now when I open the sliding glass door to the deck . . . a little orange head pops up out of my little pile of pots!
     
  8. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    His name is MR. Roo he was the first to crow on the yard out of 27 roo's first to form a full waddle and comb also. He is my best friend in the world, and he loves meal worms. here is me and MR. Roo [​IMG]
     
  9. HappyTalons

    HappyTalons Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Mid-Missouri
    A very pretty roo . . . looks a lot like our BA, Edna (though her comb and wattles are not so big!

    Update on status:

    Last few days have been more of the same. The EEs are still cooping and roosting themselves at night and the older pullets will sometimes peck at them before bed (recently we've been hand managing this part). Waking up can be a bit tricky also, this morning the barred rock drove one of the EEs off her roost. I intervened and put her back once the BR had left into the run. None of the rest of the group bothered the little ones when getting down. During the day they free range "together" which generally means occupying different parts of under the deck or the yard entirely. If the two groups get within less than about 5 feet of one another there is chasing (often this includes the whole group of four) until the EEs are farther away/out of sight. Sometimes the barred rock will see the EEs from across the yard and decide to run at them.

    It's been over a week now and I'm starting to wonder if this will ever work (or at least not take months!). I think maybe if the EEs would stand up for themselves, instead of constantly running, it might go better. I'm wondering too if I should just force them to tolerate each others presence by keeping them in the run with the EEs in a smaller cage but the heat has been so oppressive I am worried I will stress out both groups unnecessarily. UGH!
     
  10. Yardbirds286

    Yardbirds286 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Western Mass
    I wish I knew what to tell you. My BR's are always after my BO's. They have been together for a week straight, and I am just about ready to build another BO house. Anyone ever had to resort to separating them permanently?
     

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