Young chickens with older chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SportChick, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. SportChick

    SportChick Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    I have 4 hens about 16 weeks old and 2 younger chicks (1 hen and 1 rooster) about 12 weeks old. We have had a lot of trouble getting young chicks to go in the pen with the older ones. The bigs ones really go after the young ones. Today we put the little ones in a wire dog crate in the big pen with the others. My husband built a door that is big enough for the little ones but not enough for the big ones. We put leg markers on the older hens (because I can't tell them apart) and it does look like one is the instigator of the problem. The babies are petrified and if they aren't in the dog crate they are really frantic to get out. I believe they have enough space. Now when they are free ranging they do seem to leave them alone (mostly). Ultimately I have to get rid of the rooster (inside city limits) but the hen is so attached to him and is so scared of the other chickens. The little hen is really the breed I wanted in the first place so I am feeling very protective of her. Any suggestions?

  2. Kenshan1

    Kenshan1 Songster

    Aug 13, 2010
    Bonney Lake, WA
    I am new to chickens & we are having the same issue. We have 10 chicks at 10wks & 3 chicks at 6wks. We had them apart for a week but now I just let them in with the bigger ones & let them do their thing. My husband has a book on chickens (the Dummies book) & it says its just part of the pecking order & that it takes about 2 wks of them working things out. This morning i was a little upset that the bigger ones were down in the coop but the younger ones were in the roost looking to come down to eat but if one flew down the big ones were chasing them. We had corn on the cob last night so I gave them the left over cobs. That distracted the big ones so the little ones could come down to eat. Today we had them all out in the tractor to eat up the yard some. It took the little ones a little bit to get use to & the big ones had to get use to having the little ones in there with them but they did settle down & this evening everyone was getting along so far. The little ones will still be the low man on the roost so to speak but they seem to be slowly getting use to it.

    I'm pretty silly, I'm a big time dog person, I find myself telling the chickens to knock it off just like I would a dog. Sometimes I clap my hands like I would do for a dog etc. I have to laugh at myself sometimes, specially when it doesn't work lol. I do get 1 or 2 turn at look at me but its never the one chasing the little ones.

  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    My youngest chicks are already out in the big run. They spent a few days in isolation where they could look at each other and now they are out and about. The run has plenty of hiding places and some learned to hop up into the tree to avoid being pecked at or chased. Now it is a week later and the little ones are all over just like the big ones!
  4. moms

    moms In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2013
    I have four hens, two black sexlinks 23 weeks old, and two buff orpingtons. 13 weeks old. We recently put them in the same coop after a month of seeing each other but not touching. We put them on the roost bar after dark and that seemed to work, but I had to take them down from the roost in the am. The chicks were petrified of the older ones. So tonite second night, the older ones went in the coop and jumped up to the roost bar. The little ones waited for them to disappear and then went into the coop, but they would not go up the ramp to the roost bar. The just stayed on the ground floor and whined. I felt so bad for them, but I waited to give them an opportunity to go up to the roost themselves, but they did not. So.... took them and placed them on the roost bar again. How long will I have to do this before they learn what to do? How do i help stop being so scared of the older ones? They are petrified really. I feel so bad, and like you the younger ones are the breed i really wanted and so close to my heart.
  5. JanO

    JanO Songster

    Jul 25, 2012
    Western Washington
    I actually have 3 sets in my coop now. 5 older hens and a rooster over a year old, 6 pullets that are about 16 weeks old now, and 7 chicks being raised with 6 keets that are 5 weeks old. Fortunately I have a large coop so there's room for everyone. The older bunch get the roost, the pullets get the top of the nesting boxes (six attached together that has a flat top), and the babies still get the ground in their grow out pen. The little ones are going to be kicked out in a couple of weeks so it's going to be interesting to see where they go. I expect they will find a spot in a corner to huddle in until they are brave enough to join one of the other groups.
  6. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chirping

    Jun 30, 2012
    North-central Arkansas
    Hi, thanks for all the good info, and please us posted on how it goes when the littlest ones are out of their pen and mixing with the older chickens. We have a similar situation but with only two age groups — 14-month-old BR "beasts," and 7-week-old BCM/mix chicks. The big chickens free range and are very interested in the chicks, which stay in a portable outdoor pen during the day and inside the barn at night. There's been no sign of aggressive behaviors as yet. I'm thinking up a design for a cage to be installed inside the coop when they're 12 weeks old. Should be interesting to see what happens.

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