Will older chickens kill young ones? Yes, it’s possible. Unfortunately your mature chickens could attack the younger ones and inflict significant damage when you try to integrate new birds into your flock.
I know that sounds terrible, but it’s a worst case scenario. As long as you take your time and introduce young chickens to the older ones properly, you shouldn’t face any serious problems.
In fact, the younger the newcomers are, the easier mixing the two sets of birds will be.
That’s because very young chickens won’t put up a challenge to older birds, which means the older chickens don’t (usually) have any reason to harass the youngsters once they’ve put them in their place.
Flock integration is much easier if your chickens are out on pasture or roaming around in your orchard where everyone has plenty of space.
Integration can be more difficult if your chickens are confined to a run, though, because the existing flock will be defensive over their space. There’s also more boredom when chickens aren’t free to roam around. And boredom increases bad behavior.
If you’re raising chickens on a homestead and you’re giving them lots of space, then integration should be fairly straight forward, although you will need to “isolate-in-view” to begin with, and separate the birds when they’re in the coop for the first few weeks.
For flock owners integrating birds confined to runs (or to coops in winter), introducing new chickens to your flock takes more careful planning, especially when the new chickens are much younger, and/or much smaller than the rest of the chickens in your flock.
Your usually sweet, peaceful hens can quickly turn into vicious bullies when new chickens come into their territory.
Warning! Isolate New Birds
If you’re bringing in new birds from outside your home or homestead, keep them separated from your flock for 30 days before you attempt to integrate them. This chicken quarantine period will make sure any diseases in the new birds don’t get passed on to your existing flock.
But if your new additions came in as day old chicks, they’ll be in the brooder for that period anyway and there’s no need for any further safety measures after that.
Be Ready For The Pecking Order When You’re Mixing Chickens Of Different Ages
Chickens live in social groups with a dominance hierarchy called the pecking order. In a natural flock, the rooster (cockerel) is at the top of the pecking order. If your flock doesn’t have a rooster, the most dominant hen will take the top spot.
Every chicken has a place in the pecking order, and chickens higher up the pecking order get first access to food, the best roost spots in their enclosure, and their choice of roosts in the coop.
As they establish their place in the pecking order, chickens use their beaks to peck at each other as they squabble, fight, and bully their way up the rank, which is where the term pecking order comes from.
Their antics can get pretty nasty sometimes, especially when multiple chickens gang up on a more lowly run mate or a batch of new birds.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a hard peck from one of your chickens, you know how painful that can be.
When it’s time to integrate new chickens into your flock, if you simply throw young birds in with your existing flock of older chickens and leave them to sort themselves out, you’re asking for trouble.
The pecking order sounds harsh, but it’s an important part of the social structure your chickens live in. The younger birds will already have a social structure of their own, and if you’ve spent much time with your chicks, you’ll already know who the bossiest birds are!
Because the pecking order is a natural part of life for chickens, the youngsters will quickly accept their place on the bottom rung once they’re introduced to older chickens.
But there’s a wrong way and a right way to integrate young chickens into a flock of older chickens, so let’s dive into the details and explore the best flock integration techniques.
Will Older Chickens Kill Young Ones Or Can The Birds Be Mixed?
If you take your young chickens once they’re feathered up, put them in a run with your older chickens, and leave everyone to it, there’s a good chance the young chickens could be seriously injured or killed.
Young chickens have no defense against a group of mature hens or a rooster. They’re smaller, weaker, and they have zero self defense skills.
The best they can do is run away (if they can get away) and hide (if there’s a hiding place the others can’t get into).
If the newcomers can’t escape, the mature birds will peck and bully the younger chickens to display their dominance.
How much the older chickens bully the younger ones depends on their temperament. And their temperament has a lot to do with their breed.
Chickens from a more docile breed may be satisfied with a few pecks, a little chasing around, some hackle raising, a bit of squawking, and regular stern looks.
They’ll probably be bossy about coop space, roosts, and food for a week or so, but then things will settle down as the young chickens gradually integrate into your flock.
A more aggressive breed of chickens, or a flock that doesn’t have a lot of space, could do some serious damage to the younger chickens.
That damage could include plucking most of their feathers, pecking so hard they draw blood (which only invites more pecking), and pecking away skin or chunks of flesh.
The larger your flock, the more abuse the young ones will have to endure because each older hen will get in on the action.
The older chickens will also chase the young ones away from food and water.
Do Older Chickens Kill Younger Ones On Purpose?
Older chickens don’t usually go on the attack with murder in mind. Instead the deaths of young chickens occur when the injuries the young birds receive are so numerous or serious that they can’t survive them. The extreme stress of being attacked is a big danger to young chickens as well.
If the younger birds manage to endure the first week or two, the assaults will become less frequent as the new pecking order is established with the younger birds pushed firmly to the bottom.
Integrating new chickens without allowing time for a more gradual introduction is not recommended. It’s physically dangerous and emotionally distressing for the young birds, and you would find the experience distressing too.
To successfully integrate chickens of different ages you must introduce them slowly over a few days to several weeks, and during that time the older chickens and the younger ones should not mix unless you’re there to supervise them and intervene when necessary.
Flock integration must be planned, controlled, and supervised.
How Chicks Become Part Of the Flock Naturally
When a hen hatches a clutch of eggs, she’ll shepherd the chicks around and protect them. To begin with she’ll keep away from the main flock and if other chickens come too close, she’ll warn them off with a cross squawk and she’ll ruffle her feathers to show her annoyance.
The chicks will stay very close to their mother because she’s their source of warmth, safety, and comfort.
As the chicks get older and become less fragile, the hen will let other chickens approach and check out the youngsters, but she’ll flare up if their inspection is too rough.
All of the hens and the rooster in the flock will gradually be introduced to the newbies while they’re under the protection of their mother, and because the rest of the flock already accepts the mother hen as one of their own there shouldn’t be any problems.
By the time the chicks are feathered up and getting more adventurous, the other chickens will have adjusted to their presence, and they can mingle with the rest of the flock.
When you don’t have a mother hen to protect the chicks you have to take on that role.
As far as your flock is concerned, you’re the boss. You supply the food, you open the coop in the morning, and shut everyone away at night. You scold any chickens that cause trouble, and you move chickens around as you see fit.
So while you’re going to take on the role of the mother hen, you’re also the boss, and that gives you a big advantage.
Introducing New Chickens At Night “The Overnight Surprise” Good Or Bad Idea?
Here’s a pretty common question, and I want to get this out of the way before we go any further: Can’t you just sneak young chickens into the coop with the older ones at bedtime?
The short answer is no.
The “overnight surprise” as it’s called comes at the end of the integration period, not at the beginning as a once and done solution. A short, sharp, shock works if you need to rip off a Band Aid, it’s not a smart approach to take with chickens.
The overnight surprise is supposed to work like this. You wait until it’s dark, then you sneak the new birds into the coop with the older birds when the older chickens are already settled on their roosts.
Then, so the theory goes, the older birds will wake up with the newbies the next day and be tricked into thinking they’re part of the flock because they’re in the coop.
Of course, the truth is, no one is tricked. Chickens are definitely bird brains at times, but they’re not stupid.
Remember the social hierarchy? When a chicken sees a newcomer they don’t recognize, their immediate response is, who the heck are you and what are you doing in my coop?
Imagine waking up with a total stranger sitting on the end of your bed. Yeah, that’s how the chicken feels. Freaked out!
Allowing the young and old chickens the freedom to mix in the coop at night comes at the end of the integration period. It’s the last step. Not the first step.
Will Chickens Fight At Night?
Generally, they won’t fight at night. Once it’s dark, the chickens will go to sleep. The problem comes in the morning.
Your chickens will definitely wake up before you go down to the coop the next morning, and in that time all hell could have broken loose, with the young chickens trapped inside the coop, without an escape route.
In some cases this approach might be successful at the start, but only when the older chickens are a very easy-going, docile breed. Even then it’s a big risk.
I wouldn’t shut my youngsters in a coop at night with my older hens unless the coop was sectioned off, to stop the older chickens attacking the new chickens.
Now we’ve looked at what not to do, let’s look at the best ways to mix chickens of different ages and integrate youngsters into your flock.
What Age Chickens Can You Put Together?
There’s no hard and fast age based rule for mixing chickens of different ages.
Some flock owners (like me) prefer to get started as soon as the chicks are feathered up and ready to go outdoors full-time at 6 weeks old. Others prefer to wait until the youngsters are much bigger and more able to defend themselves.
The problem with waiting for the youngsters to grow up before mixing them with the existing flock, is the bigger they are, the more likely they are to stand up for themselves and challenge the older birds.
As you can imagine, that doesn’t go down well with the older birds and they’ll keep bullying the younger chickens until they back down.
If you begin integrating your flocks as early as possible, the young birds know they’re in no position to challenge the older birds.
Once the older chickens have asserted their dominance, they won’t waste time with repeated displays, and flock integration can take place without repeated scuffles.
Good to know: Older chickens find the introduction of new birds into their flock stressful. The hens at the lower end of the pecking order will feel more threatened than the dominant birds ruling the roost. You could find that some of your layers won’t produce any eggs until harmony is restored.
Mixing Young Birds of Different Ages
So far we’ve talked about mixing younger chickens with mature birds. But you could need to integrate chicks from multiple hatches when you’re expanding your flock.
In my experience mixing chicks that are only a few weeks apart in age is more difficult than integrating young birds with mature chickens.
When we’ve had chicks hatched by our hens, integration of multiple hatches has been easy because momma hens are very protective.
But when we’ve hatched successive batches of eggs in the incubator, the older chicks have been a nightmare even though they’re only 3 weeks older then the next hatchlings. Then the younger ones turn into bullies with the next group, and so on.
Integration is possible, but it takes some time and the different hatches need separating in different chicken tractors or sections of the run.
Once they’ve had time to get used to seeing each other, you can let them mix for short periods. Expect some pecking and bullying at first, it’s completely normal.
Docile breeds will mix more easily than assertive breeds.
If you see several older chicks causing most of the trouble, scoop them up and shut them back in their part of the run.
Don’t leave the chicks to mix alone. You need to stay with them until everyone is playing nicely.
Integrating Young Chickens Into An Existing Flock Using A Chicken Tractor
- A chicken tractor is a simple, practical, and effective way to integrate chickens using the isolate-in-view method. It’s ideal for all situations, whether you’re free ranging your chickens, or keeping them in a run.
- Both sets of chickens can get used to one another while keeping the younger chickens completely safe.
- The older chickens occupy their normal space while the younger ones are protected inside the chicken tractor.
Because the younger birds are physically isolated from the older chickens you can begin the integration process as soon as the youngsters have feathered up, ready for the great outdoors.
You’ll need to construct a basic chicken tractor for the young chickens out of chicken wire and wood. One end of the tractor needs to have a waterproof cover where the chickens can shelter from the rain. If it’s summer, they need to be able to shelter from the hot sun too. A simple tarp works in both situations, or you can use a metal roof panel.
While the younger birds are in the chicken tractor, the older birds can see the newcomers, they can come close and investigate, but they can’t hurt them.
They may peck at a chicks through the chicken wire, but all the chicks have to do is move out of reach of the beaks.
With the birds separated like this, you can go about your day knowing that the youngsters are safe.
It’s up to you how long you isolate-in-view before you move on to the next step. A couple of days, a week, a month? The integration has to fit in with the temperament of your flock and your schedule.
The chicken tractor gives the youngsters a sense of place once they’re out in the great outdoors. When you finally let them out of the enclosure, they’ll stay close to it because they feel safe there and it’s their source of food and water.
Without an anchor point, the young birds could wander off and get lost especially if they’re chased away by the older chickens.
Each day, toss some treats around the outside of the chicken tractor, so your hens see the run and its inhabitants as a positive place.
Time to Mix!
After a few days (or weeks) of getting used to each other, it’s time to try mixing the two flocks for a short period when you’ve got time to stay around and supervise things.
The more time you can spend supervising the chickens, the faster the integration will go. The weekend is ideal, but check the weather first.
Be a Goldilocks. Make sure the weather is calm, not too hot, and not too cold. Mixing the flocks is stressful for both sets of birds and additional stressors like a brewing storm, or a very hot day will make all of the birds more cranky.
You’ll need some more treats, a broom, and a squirt bottle filled with water. The broom is going to act as an extra long arm. Trust me you’ll be glad you took it along.
The squirt bottle (empty dish washing liquid bottle or similar) gives you an easy way to discipline an aggressive chicken
You’re the best judge of your hen’s favorite treats. Mine love carrot peels, halved apples, stale bread, tomatoes, peas, sunflower seeds, baked potatoes, and corn cobs.
Keep The Chicken Tractor Or Run Accessible
Prop the end of the chicken tractor up on a block of wood or a brick, or if possible fix the door so there’s just enough space for the chicks to get in and out.
You want to create a space the youngsters can get through but one that’s too small for the older hens to follow. That way the little ones can get back to the safety of the chicken tractor or run if they need to.
Scatter some treats around to distract the older chickens while the youngsters venture out of the enclosure.
The chicks will stay near the chicken tractor and they’ll stay close to you. You can stand up or get down on the ground with the chicks and let them hide under your legs.
When the first hen or rooster comes over to the chicks, use the boom to gently push them away. This lets the older birds know that you’re in control and that you’ll decide when first contact takes place.
Keep using the broom to keep the other chickens away and continue to throw treats to the older birds to distract them.
If any of the older birds cause too much trouble, squirt them with the water bottle.
Give them half an hour to get used to seeing the chicks out of the enclosure.
Gauge the attitude of your flock. Are they ruffling their feathers and making a lot of noise, or are they more relaxed?
If they’re fairly calm, don’t use the broom to push away the next chicken that approaches the youngsters. But only allow one or two to get close at a time.
The older chickens will engage in some pecking and bossing around, but that’s to be expected. If the young chickens scurry back to the safety of their tractor, give them time to calm down, then entice them back out with treats.
When you decide the mixing session has gone on long enough, put the youngsters back into the chicken tractor and give them a break.
Observe And Assess
Allow the birds to mix several times a day.
At first, stay next to the chicken tractor, but then gradually move further away. The chicks will follow you around, closely at first but they’ll start to move further away from you as their confidence grows.
Watch the behavior of your older chickens as they approach the chicks. Are they still giving out plenty of pecks, or are they just strutting around and ruffling their feathers?
How harsh is the pecking? Is it an occasional nip, are your chickens drawing blood when they peck, or are they pinning chicks down and terrorizing them?
Remember to use the broom to gently and firmly, push overly aggressive birds away.
Whenever you see an older bird being too rough, remove that chicken from the group. You could shut the bird in the coop, isolate her in another run if you have one, or put her under an upturned crate (or laundry basket) until you’ve finished letting the birds mix for that session.
If the same one or two older chickens keep acting up, exclude them from the flock entirely for a few days. When you let them back in, they’ll need to reintegrate with the flock, and they’ll be too busy with that to bother the younger birds as much.
How Much Pecking Is Too Much?
If you see blood, you need to step in. Once a chicken has drawn blood, the other birds will be attracted to the wound, and they’ll keep pecking. Put all of the younger chickens back into the run or chicken tractor, and take the injured chicken inside to treat the wound (see below).
If multiple chickens are acting like bullies then remove them and let the chicks mix with the less aggressive birds. Or, if you prefer, just gather the younger chickens back into the chicken tractor and try again later or the next day.
Before you give up on a boisterous mixing session, it’s always worth throwing some treats down to distract the older birds to see if they’ll settle down.
Once you’re confident that the older chickens have accepted the younger ones, you can leave them alone. But always keep the tractor propped open just in case.
4 Reasons A Chicken Tractor Is Better Than Fencing Off A Corner Of Your Chicken Run
A Chicken Tractor Is Less Hassle to Make
When you fence off a “nursery” section of your chicken run, you need to cover the top of the area as well as make a dividing fence.
Young chickens can jump and flap their way over short fences 4 or 5 feet high, and older chickens can easily clear that distance too, so it’s essential to cover the top.
You also need a shelter of some kind in the nursery run, and an access gate.
By the time you’ve done all of that and made sure there aren’t any gaps the small birds can squeeze through, you could have built a sturdy chicken tractor. And a chicken tractor will be useful for years to come, while the nursery area will soon be dismantled.
A Chicken Tractor Saves Space
The chicken tractor saves space inside the run because it doesn’t need to be inside the run.
Just place it outside the run right next to the fence so the chickens can see each other. The adult chickens won’t feel so put out if they still have access to all of their territory.
A Chicken Tractor Gives You Free Labor
Your chicken tractor allows you to take some of your chickens and put them to work in your garden eating weeds, and tilling and fertilizing garden beds.
A Chicken Tractor Gives You An Isolation Pen
If you get a broody hen, a chicken tractor makes a great place for her to raise her chicks for the first few weeks.
The safe enclosure is also a good spot to house any sick or injured chickens when you need to keep them away from the rest of the flock.
Separating Young And Old Chickens In The Coop At Night
As soon as you begin to introduce the chickens to each other during the day, you can also let them share the same coop at night as long as you divide the coop and give the youngsters a safe space.
If the new chickens are young enough and not taking up a lot of space yet, you can shut them inside a large cat carrier, dog carrier, or dog crate. I do that all the time because it’s easier than putting up a partition.
Then once the chicks are too big for the carrier, they’re usually integrated and it’s safe for them to go on the roosts.
Rigid pet carriers and dog cages are useful to have around even if you don’t have pets. As well as providing a safe space in the chicken coop, they make perfect isolation pens for sick or injured chickens, and they’re robust and easy to clean.
If you prefer to section off part of your coop for the younger chickens, you’ll need to make a made to measure frame and cover the frame with chicken wire fencing.
When you install the divider, check around all of the edges and fill in any gaps that are big enough for a chick to squeeze through.
Chickens are smaller than you think, it’s their feathers that make them look so much fatter than they are. Those feathers squish down when a chicken wants to squeeze through a gap.
Alternative Chicken Coop Arrangements
All of my chickens are outdoors during the day. They only go to the coops to get out of the weather, lay eggs, or roost at night.
But your set up could be entirely different, with your chickens making more extensive use of their coop, especially if they’re in a connected run.
If so, you could introduce your new chickens and your old chickens inside the coop.
You’ll need to section off a corner of the coop, or for an easier option, set a large wire dog crate in the coop.
Put the young chickens inside the cage with food and water and shut the door. Then the older birds can investigate the newcomers and begin getting used to them.
After a couple of days, shut the older chickens outside for an hour or two and let the younger birds explore the rest of the coop.
Then, let one of your older chickens back inside the coop to mix with the youngsters.
If that goes well, let another one in while you stay and supervise. Remember to shut the chicks back inside the dog crate or nursery section of the coop before you open the coop back up to the rest of your flock.
Each day gradually increase the number of birds the young chickens mix with inside the coop.
Then, when you judge that it’s safe, let the young chickens outside into your main run with the other chickens (while you’re around to supervise).
The first time you mix them outdoors, half an hour might be long enough, or they could spend longer together depending on how well they interact with each other.
Keep repeating the mixing sessions until the older birds no longer bother the younger ones.
To give the younger chickens a safe place to retreat to, wedge a piece of wood in the doorway of their crate so it doesn’t close all the way. Then tie a piece of string up at the top between the cage side and the cage door, so the door can’t open too wide. That way, the small birds can get inside easily but the larger birds can’t follow them.
Introducing New Chickens To A Smaller Flock
Introducing a larger number of young chickens to a small number of adult birds is fairly easy and you may be able to integrate the chickens without needing to use a chicken tractor.
The youngsters have strength in numbers and there aren’t enough older hens to pick on everyone at once.
You’ll still need to supervise the first few meetings and the chickens should be separated in the coop initially, but integration should go fairly quickly.
A good ratio would be 1 mature hen to 6 youngsters.
Before you introduce the chickens to each other, make a hiding place in the run for the youngsters to retreat to.
Then bring the birds together and provide treats. Allow the birds to mix for increasing periods over a few days and assess how well the integration is going before you make the move full-time.
An alternative method you can use if you’ve only got a few adult chickens, is to isolate the older hens in a dog crate or sectioned off area in the coop, and give the chicks full freedom in the coop and the run.
Then let one hen out to mix for half an hour while you supervise.
Repeat the process with different hens for a few days, then try letting all of the chickens mix together.
As the new flock mixes for the first time, there will inevitably be some chasing, pecking, and fighting, but this is normal, and the pecking order antics have to take place.
Just keep a close eye on things and step in if the older hens injure any of the younger ones.
How Long Does It Take For Hens To Accept New Hens?
If your original flock is full of docile chickens, then integration could take a few days to a week.
If your birds are more aggressive, you may need to supervise repeated mixing sessions over several weeks before they’re ready to live together.
But one thing is certain, the more time you can spend with the chickens as they get to know each other, the sooner the integration will be complete.
If you don’t have a lot of free time, put the chicken tractor to good use and employ the isolate-in-view method for a longer period before you let them mix.
Will Older Roosters Kill Younger Ones?
If you need to add a new rooster to your flock, he should be gradually introduced to the flock while he’s still a lot smaller than the resident rooster.
Because he’s smaller, he’ll back down when the bigger rooster asserts his dominance.
Then, as he matures, he’ll probably continue to accept his subordinate position, although, one day, he could decide to launch a challenge.
When roosters fight for dominance, the fight will go on until one of the boys backs down or is too injured to continue. The fights can be viscous because the roosters jump at each other and fight with their claws and spurs, but the fight will usually stop before either bird is seriously wounded.
If you step in, you could get hurt. And the two birds will pick up their fight once they’re back together. So it’s better to let them duke it out.
Keeping multiple roosters with a flock is less problematic when there are enough hens to go around, when the roosters are from a more docile dual purpose breed, and when the flock has plenty of space.
Then each rooster will guard his group of hens and life should be fairly peaceful.
Will Roosters Kill Chicks?
As long as you follow the steps to introduce the newcomers to the rest of your flock in a gradual way, the rooster will learn to accept the chicks.
Once that happens, the rooster will protect the youngsters just as he protects the rest of the flock, and will often step in to chase off a bad tempered hen.
But if you don’t integrate the chicks into the flocks in a gradual way, then the rooster could view the chicks as a threat, and then, yes he could attack and kill the chicks.
Integrating Straight Run Chicks Into Your Flock
If you’re raising a group of straight run chicks, you can integrate them in the same way as any other set of chicks.
As the chicks develop, you’ll be able to tell how many roosters are in the group.
As they mature, they’ll test the older rooster and each other as they sort out their pecking order.
Most dual purpose breeds should sort themselves out without too much drama or trauma, and once they’re fully grown, you’ll be reducing their numbers because you’ll want them for the table.
If you’re raising a “gamey” breed, like the Old English though, you can expect a lot more serious fighting.
It’s best to keep those roosters apart.
Which Chicken Breeds Are The Most Docile & The Easiest To Mix?
From my experience Black Copper Marans are very docile. So much so that when I took a new group of twenty or so youngsters into their field for the first time, the adult chickens (including the enormous rooster) actually ran way from the chicks and went to hide under a walnut tree.
The newbies had plenty of time to explore around the coop area before the hens wandered back and began to gently assert their authority.
Sussex chickens are another calm and gentle breed we raise here and we’ve had no aggression problems with them.
Docile Chicken Breeds
- Barred Rocks
- Buff Orpingtons
- Easter Eggers
- Jersey Giants
- Sussex chickens
More Aggressive Chicken Breeds
- Rhode Island Reds
- Black Star
- Old English Game
- Red Star
Basic Chicken First Aid Kit
- Betadine or Povidone-Iodine
- Chlorhexidine spray or liquid antiseptic
- Sterile saline solution
- Large irrigation syringe (no needle)
- Small syringe (no needle)
- Suture strips
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment (without lidocaine)
- Neem Oil
- Blunt ended scissors
Chicken First Aid For A Minor Wound
For a superficial wound (non gaping wound), use warm water or warm saline and the irrigation syringe to clean the wound and surrounding area of dirt and debris. Cut away feathers around the wound if they’re in the way.
Use gauze to dry the wound and surrounding area. If the wound continues to bleed, apply gentle pressure with the gauze until the bleeding stops.
Prevent infection using one of the following applied to the wound and surrounding area:
- Spray with chlorhexidine or paint on the liquid with a Q-Tip.
- Use gauze or a Q-Tip to apply Betadine/Povidone-Iodine diluted 50/50 with warm water.
- Apply triple antibiotic ointment with a Q-Tip.
- Apply neem oil using the small syringe (it’s too sticky for a Q-Tip)
Keep the chicken away from her flock mates for a few days until the wound has scabbed over.
First Aid For A Deeper Or Bigger Wound
Flush with warm water or warm saline. Make sure all dirt is removed from the wound and the surrounding area.
Apply pressure with clean gauze to stop bleeding and to dry the wound.
If the wound looks like it needs suture strips, paint betadine antiseptic around the wound and let it dry, then apply the suture strips. They won’t stick to the skin if other oils or ointments are used.
Otherwise, use a Q-Tip to paint Betadine or triple antibiotic ointment around the wound. Or use the syringe to apply neem oil.
Cover the wound with gauze and secure the gauze in place by winding a couple of layers of vetwrap around the affected area. Don’t wrap the vetwrap too tightly, you don’t want to restrict blood flow or make breathing difficult.
Clean the wound and redress each day until it’s healed.
Keep the injured chicken away from the rest of the flock while she recovers.
I’ve always found that injured chickens perk up faster when they get to eat some honey. Just heat some water in a cup, add a spoon of honey, stir it until it melts, then hold a spoonful to the birds beak so she can drink it down.
The honey is an easily digested source of energy and it tastes good.
If a young chicken is very seriously injured, it’s better to put it out of its misery than try to save it.
Tips To Make Mixing Younger And Older Chickens Easier
Create hiding places for the youngsters.
Make sure you’ve put out enough food and water stations for everyone so there’s no jostling for access to resources.
Add extra roosts into your coop and run so no one has to fight for space.
Spend as much time as you can with the chickens so you can step in and prevent serious injuries.
Provide plenty of treats.
Use your broom!
Use the squirt bottle!
Prepare a chicken first aid kit before you mix the birds for the first time, so you’ve got supplies on hand to treat any wounds.
Thanks for reading: Will older chickens kill young ones. Follow the steps I’ve described and your flock integration should go smoothly. Good luck 🙂