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Mixing Different Ages of Chicks

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

What is the oldest age of chicks would you want to add newly hatched chicks?

 

Can you mix newly hatched chicks with 2 week old chicks?  3 week old?

Projects:  Coop 1  -  Coop 2  -  Brooder Warmer  -  Chick Feeder  -  Solar Ventilation  -  Lighting
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Projects:  Coop 1  -  Coop 2  -  Brooder Warmer  -  Chick Feeder  -  Solar Ventilation  -  Lighting
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post #2 of 6
I haven't done it. I think newly hatched chicks need about two weeks to be strong enough to hold their own. I would separate the batches by a wire divider during those two weeks than let them mingle.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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post #3 of 6

It depends on the individuals involved. Most of the time it works out fine as long as the chicks are within a couple weeks in age, but you don't want to attempt any additions after age four weeks.

 

When adding day-olds it helps to place them with the older chicks with a see-through barrier to protect them until they adjust and begin to know and learn the behavior of the older chicks. Chicks right out of an incubator don't have the experience yet to cope, but by the end of their first week, they will probably be ready to try mingling with the older ones.

 

It's not always the case that the aggression will come from the older chicks. A poster recently had a thread on here where the two-day old was the tyrant bully, jumping on and attacking the older chicks.

 

I have an article on how to cope with bully chicks linked below under "Articles".

post #4 of 6

We had a younger chick that severely bullied our bigger, older chicks. They only had about a week between them, age wise. It was the weirdest thing. Maybe it's not super common, but this baby chick was terrible. Injured all of the others within half a day to the point where they had multiple bleeding injuries each. Tried to separate and re-integrate (chick rehab!) with no success, so she was re-homed. Her sister (who we just found out is actually a roo) never had any issues being brought into the flock with the age difference. She was treated the same as the other birds immediately. I guess it just depends on your individual birds.

 

We have three 1 week old Easter Eggers that we're integrating with our 5 weekers. The older chicks aren't really interested in them until I put them in the run together for short spurts and then they want to peck them. So it'll probably be a few weeks before the hardware cloth that separates them can come off. 

Kate

 

1 Husband, 1 Boy, 3 Kitties, 2 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Delawares, & 3 Easter Eggers.

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Kate

 

1 Husband, 1 Boy, 3 Kitties, 2 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 2 Golden Comets, 2 Delawares, & 3 Easter Eggers.

Reply
post #5 of 6

Day old chicks will probably be trampled if you add them to two week olds without any barrier.

post #6 of 6
I recently successfully added a couple-day-old chick in with 3 2-week-olds. I did keep them separated by a wire barrier for a few hours.

Now, I say "successfully" but it was my chick mentioned above who turned out to be a baby bully! Some poke therapy ensued and all is now fine, but I certainly needn't have worried about the little one taking a beating.
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