The Babies Have Moved Into the Big House!

The 10 little ladies have gotten so big, though dare I say it, I’m pretty sure their is a boy in the batch.  When you buy chicks from a hatchery you can pay extra to have the chicks sexed to make sure you end up with hens, the success rate of sexing day old chicks is 90%.  I bought 10 chicks…..

Even though noin size they are as big as the full grown silkie hens, they still are the little girls in the big girl coop!  In the world of “pecking order”  they are on the bottom.  However, its already becoming obvious who will be the alphas in the group.

I have slowly allowed them to run around with the big girls until I knew they could handle themselves.  Below is a picture of one of our older hens, Amelia, letting the little girls know where they stand in the pecking order, below her!

I also have let them free range several times and they handled it well, being much more adventurous than the older hens by trying out new spots in the garden.

One of my concerns about letting them run with the older hens, was Houdini our rooster thinking that he could mate with them, they were just too small to support his weight on their backs, but he isn’t interested.  I think he knows they are too young to lay, so their is no point.  Or maybe he has enough woman to worry about!! 🙂

Even though they were loose in the run with the other chickens, they still slept in their small coop at night.  Well, Friday night I decided I needed to cut the strings, mostly because they are crammed up in their little coop.  So I  made the decision to move them into the big coop.  To say I was a nervous mom would be an understatement.  One of my hens, the Phoenix, is a she-devil!  She is so nasty, and unfortunately she is in charge.  She harasses every hen as they make their way into the coop at night, letting everyone know she’s the boss.

I went out at dusk, everyone was in their prospective coops and slowly I took the little girls two at a time and placed them into the big coop.  They were a mess, chirping at me and scared witless.

I knew they would be fine during the night, chickens don’t move around in the dark, so no one would be picking on anyone else.  As I went to sleep that night I was worried about what would be happening in the coop when the sun started to rise, and the phoenix decided to lay down the law.  So, of course I woke with the sun and hustled my way outside to ensure that no one was getting pecked to death.

I arrived just after the dawn to dusk door had opened so everyone was already outside.  When I got to the door of the run, all 10 ladies ran up to greet me and everyone was fine and all was forgiven.  So, it must not have been to rough.  That’s what I tell myself!

I closed up their  little coup during the day on Saturday, so that the girls wouldn’t get confused and will eventually learn the big house is their new home.  I had to encourage them into the coup on Saturday, mostly because they were trying so hard to keep away from the older girls that they were having a hard time finding a spot on the roosting bar.

I asked my hubby on Sunday to add another roosting bar so that everyone would have plenty of space at night and not be overcrowded.  He used a 2 x 6 and attached it to the inside of the coop with a bracket and stabilized the end with a wooden legs.  I went out at dusk and the girls were already on the new roost and everyone went in with no encouragement from me. YEAH!

I am sure for the next week I will have to keep vigil at dusk to make sure everyone gets into the big coup.

Keep your fingers crossed that all will be peaceful!

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Categories: Backyard Chicken

Author:Amy Stafford

I am the author, photographer and creator behind the blog A Healthy Life For Me. I am a food and fitness nut who loves Crossfit, Chocolate and Organic Gardening.

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10 Comments on “The Babies Have Moved Into the Big House!”

  1. Appreciative Viewer
    July 16, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    It is great fun to follow the lives of the chickens. 🙂

    • July 16, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Thank you! I love writing about them…sometimes too much! 🙂

  2. July 16, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Such a beautiful flock!!

  3. A Table in the Sun
    July 16, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Integration of two flocks is always an interesting process. I loved reading your story since we have three little ones who will be moving up to The Big House soon. I’m hoping it will go better than last time since these three are the same breeds as our current flock.

    • July 17, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Good luck! Its funny how the same breeds hang together. Even though I raised these 10 together the different breeds are always sitting together during the down time.

  4. July 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I love watching the pecking order evolve… our smallest, sweetest looking chicken is the Boss at the moment and you should see the big ladies run! Great photos 😉

    • July 17, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      I think they are so entertaining, I catch myself standing there watching them all the time. 🙂

  5. July 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    My baby girls (we call them the Chicken Strips), went into the big coop this weekend too. It happened by accident on Friday night. My husband got the ladder out and started to pick apricots on the tree next to their run. The little Chicken Strips started to freak out and try to bolt through the fence wire. I picked them up and put them in the coop and closed the door so they wouldn’t be scared and hurt themselves. When my husband finished, I opened the door, and they were all cuddled into the corner peeping. He said, “Oh leave them there, and let’s see what happens.” Well, Purl (our Big Momma), went into the coop and sat in the opposite corner, with a mad frown on her face, but all was well. I was nervous all night too — imagining them maimed in the corner. Saturday, I had to put the little girls inside again, but last night, they went in on their own. It worked out well on Sunday, because the bigger hens were out in the yard doing catching bugs, so the little Chicken Strips had the chance to go inside on their own without any interruptions from the big girls. The hen drama is so much fun isn’t it? I LOVE to watch the flock dynamics.

    • July 17, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Don’t you love the names we come up with for our chickens! Its funny you say Purl was upset, my big girls weren’t happy either, they kept exiting the coop, as if they were disgusted. Reminds me a lot of high school drama. 🙂 Happy to hear all is going smoothly there. Last night everyone went in with no trouble- I think adding the extra roosting bar made all the difference!

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