My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

My chicks are now sleeping in the coop with the big chickens

12 Comments

My chicks have finally integrated during the day with the big girls. Helen still chases the little girls when she feels like being mean but the majority of the time, they peck and scratch and wander happily together. The little girls still keep away from the big girls at feed time but at least they are allowed to peck at the treats in the same vicinity without being harassed too much. So the only thing stopping my chicks and chickens from being a fully integrated brood, was that they sleep in separate coops. The plan was to leave them in separate coops until I sell the two boys and two of the girls in a month or so and then to integrate Hazel Hen-Chick in the big girls coop.

Last night I went outside as usual to shut the chicks and the chickens in their respective coops. Hedvig Hen-Chick was standing in the chick coop and didn’t seem to want to go inside the chick house. I shut the coop door anyway and then walked over to the big girls coop and shut their door.

I looked back over at the chick’s coop and there she was, still standing in the coop, not wanting to go into the house. So I walked over to her to see what was wrong. Hmmm, that’s strange, there was no sound coming from the chick’s house. The chicks are usually very noisy as they jostle for position before settling down for the night. So I lifted the roof of the chick’s house and I got such a shock! It was empty.  Hedvig was the only chick in the coop. No wonder she was unsettled. Where on earth can the rest of the chicks be. It is past their bedtime and starting to get dark, so something must be wrong.

I walked around in a bit of a panic to look for the rest of the chicks. As I walked past the big girl’s house, I heard a noise. The chicks sounded as though they were jostling for position in the big girl’s coop! I peeped in and there they were. All of the chicks were snuggled together (minus Hedvig) on the floor.

So I went over to the chick’s coop and opened the door. Hedvig came running out and went over to the big girls house but seemed unsure. I managed to manoeuvre her towards the door of the coop and gently shooed her in. Once I shut the door behind her she looked at me as if to say, now what! I stood and watched her as she tentatively walked towards the ramp and looked into the house. She must have seen her  brothers and sisters because she stepped onto the ramp and slowly made her way up and into the big girls’s house. The chicks welcomed her in and she snuggled down with the rest of the chicks for the night.

Tonight they all went into the big girl’s house to sleep. Hannah Hen is not terribly happy and she chases them out. They all come running out into the run and wait for Hannah to settle herself once again and off they go again, up the ramp and into the nice warm corner of the house, as far from Hannah as they can but at the same time being careful not to go too near Helen.

I have no idea why the chicks decided to sleep in the same coop as the big girls. I have no idea if this is normal behaviour or not. But I am very pleased.

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12 thoughts on “My chicks are now sleeping in the coop with the big chickens

  1. Again, it is really cool to see how this is all playing out as the chickens do their thing with little human interference. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s normal behavior. The chicks want to do what they see the older ones doing. Pretty soon they’ll be trying to get up on the roost and not just sleep on the floor.

    • Thanks. It is nice to know it is normal.
      Unfortunately my bi girls are not very goof=d role models when it comes to sleeping as they sleep in the nesting boxes. They always have. I just put on a rubber glove and remove the pooh each morning.

  3. I’m learning that just as for humans, who can tell what is normal? 🙂 I have no idea how I will integrate my new chicks with the hens. I’ll just bumble through. 🙂

  4. Poor Hevig – I’m with her. Why go sleep with the big bullies? But, then again, it’s better than sleeping alone!

  5. Last year my chicks kept trying to find places outside to sleep. So every night I would round them up until they figured it out and started sleeping in the coop without being led. I am hoping my little flock does better this year:)

  6. Yay! And I love that photo of them at the top of your blog! It’s like they have been carbon copied! 🙂 They are getting SO pretty!

  7. Pingback: Did I find a new home for my rooster and hen chicks? | My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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