Yet another integration question

AntiqueB

Free Ranging
Aug 27, 2020
1,596
5,791
546
Bergen County, NJ
I have 2 year-old hens, an EE and a BO. I also have 2 younger ones: a 4-week-old SS and a 13-week-old EE. They free range in my fenced backyard, about 50'x20', but the younger ones sleep indoors. Both babies have been outside during the day since a couple weeks old.

The BO is pretty bad at chasing the younger ones, but the baby EE is also not very good at standing her ground. At this point, I suspect the SS will soon overtake her in the pecking order. The SS, for as small as she is, will steal grapes and other treats from the bigger birds, but the young EE just watches. She runs in terror whenever an adult approaches.

Any ideas how to move this integration along? She's getting a bit big to stay in a box inside for the night (she's nearly the size of the big girls now), but I'm afraid they'll either kill her if I try to put her in the coop with them, or she'll die of terror.
 

azygous

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
28,937
47,707
1,232
Colorado Rockies
A four-week old, by instinct, will not stand her ground with an adult chicken. Thems the rules. Chickens enforce them and abide by them.

What you need to do is provide a "panic room", a safe enclosure during the day where the chick can enter through small openings, (4 x 7 in) and find food and water inside where the big chickens can't prevent her from reaching. She can come and go at her will, but whenever she feels bullied, she will be able to run to safety.

At night, you will need to provide a safe place to sleep where she won't be bullied. She's a bit young to roost, but you can try giving her a partitioned space safe from the other chickens. Or provide another safe enclosure inside the coop with the same sort of chick-size openings.

By the time the chick is ten weeks old, she should be holding her own in the flock and you will be able to remove the chick enclosures.
 

AntiqueB

Free Ranging
Aug 27, 2020
1,596
5,791
546
Bergen County, NJ
Thank you, @azygous . I can do that for my littlest one. But what can I do for the 13-week-old? She is definitely not hding her own, and doesn't even attempt to. She just runs away, even if the big girls are just walking and not chasing her.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
10,854
17,690
726
western South Dakota
add a lot of clutter to your run, ladders, sawhorses, pallets, boxes, mini walls out of tin or plywood or cardboard, places where birds can step out of sight to each other.

Go to your run, can every bird see every bird 100% of the time. That is a boring and uninteresting run, and there is no escape. Adding junk, gives unexpected hide aways, extra shade, places to get on top of, and under neath. It makes for happier birds.

That and time for them to grow up, will help.

Mrs K
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom