BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Different age chicks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Different age chicks

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I bought 3 black laced golden Wyandottes at a chicken swap 2 weeks ago and just got 6 buff Orpingtons a week ago. The Wyandottes are now about a month old and the Orpingtons are a little over a week. They have been in the same brooder separated by two layers of screen so they can see each other and communicate but the big girls are unable to pick on the little girls. This is my first time raising chicks and I'm wondering how long I should wait before I mix them. Thanks for the advice 😀
post #2 of 8

Most of the time - you don't have aggression issues with chicks.  I actually just dropped a dozen day old (3 day old with shipping) bantam chicks in with my pair of 3 week old Svart Hona with zero aggression.  I would remove the barrier and watch them for a few minutes to make sure they seem to be getting along and then just let them be a flock...

On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
Reply
On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, I'll try it tomorrow!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I tried to mix them in the brooder for about an hour and the big chicks were very aggressive. The little chicks were terrified. Our 6 small ones are pullets but the 3 big chicks are straight run, I'm starting to worry they're all roos. Anyway, I separated them again and maybe I'll try again in a few days.
post #5 of 8

You have two things working against you - breed temperaments and wide age spread.

 

Wyandotte temperament is "edgier" than Orpington docility. Add that to being the younger and smaller and less experienced, and you don't stand much of a chance for smooth integration.

 

Adding chicks during the first couple weeks is relatively without conflict, but your Wyandottes, besides being naturally more aggressive, are six times larger. You aren't going to be able to let them merge for a while.

 

But keep them all together like you have been. That's half the battle - letting them be aware the other group exists and they are one flock.

 

What I recommend, when the new ones are a couple weeks older, is to utilize a panic room for the smaller chicks. Just rig a temporary safe enclosure with openings that only the small chicks are able to fit through. This creates a safe refuge for the more timid chicks, and they can retreat to it whenever things get too rough. It will give them time and space to grow their self confidence without having it beat out of them every day, which is what the older chicks are likely to do, given their immaturity and inclination to bully for the sport of it.

 

A lot of conflict is over food and water, so place these essentials in the panic room to make sure the Orpingtons continue to be well nourished and able to withstand the stress of integration. By the time the Wyandottes reach six months, they should have settled down a lot.

post #6 of 8

There is little to worry about for aggression. Size of birds can cause them to push the smaller ones away from feeders. This is common with same age and too many cockerels. Simply supply multiple feeders and water stations if you see it occurring. The big thing with wide range of age and very young chicks is getting crushed. It happens. Had a few fertility test birds in with new hatch. First day had extra tote in for fragile young until they got mobile. At 5 days one was dead and mostly buried in pine shavings. Simply too big of birds in with it and was smothered. They will walk on smaller ones and you name it as they don't have etiquette. No other casualties and that batch is 2 and 4 weeks old. New hatch in same brooder yesterday. Put up a barrier to keep the one and two day old birds separate. Weather is good in few days and all the soon to be 5 and 3 week old birds will go to grow out coop. When the new birds get to 3 weeks they will join them. No worries. Will have two feed and water stations. Mot of the older chicks will be sold by then too. Currently have 33 chicks total and will be selling breeding cull pullets off to maintain space in grow out coop/pen as they grow. 


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 5/17/16 at 9:09am

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice azygous and egghead! Any photos or tips on what the panic room should look like? I'm having a hard time picturing it.
post #8 of 8
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Different age chicks