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Mixing Different Age Chicks in Brooder

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

We are planning on getting 5-6 more chicks in the next few weeks. Problem is in order to get the ones we want, they might be a 2-3 week difference in age in age for a couple of them. I really want to brood them together, but I guess I could separate them if absolutely necessary. Once they are old enough, I want to integrate the new chicks into an existing flock of 3 hens who were ll brought up together. They will be about 10 months old when we put them together. They will be separated for a while, but able to interact through a fence.

Can I put chicks of different ages together in a brooder. I have heard no problem and I have heard don't do it.

Thanks!

***EDIT*** They will all be pullets


Edited by duckking - 3/15/11 at 9:40pm

3 Mallards, 2 Rouens (1 drake),  Jumbo Pekin, Welsh Harlequin, 8 hens - RIRs, Gold-laced Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Buff Brahma, Welsummer, 2 Roo's - Delaware, Speckled Sussex, 1 lovable old dog, 2 geckos, 2 snakes, 2 goldfish, 1 male Beta

RIP Ghost, Gene and Onyx - we miss you girls

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3 Mallards, 2 Rouens (1 drake),  Jumbo Pekin, Welsh Harlequin, 8 hens - RIRs, Gold-laced Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Buff Brahma, Welsummer, 2 Roo's - Delaware, Speckled Sussex, 1 lovable old dog, 2 geckos, 2 snakes, 2 goldfish, 1 male Beta

RIP Ghost, Gene and Onyx - we miss you girls

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post #2 of 25

I put our 25 chicks into a larger brooder this past weekend. Two are 6-week-old Silkies and the rest are 2.5-weeks old. Things were fine for a few hours. Then it was evident that the Silkies were keeping the younger ones from the food and water. I had to separate them in half of the brooder away from the young ones. I do plan on integrating them once the younger ones are large enough to fend for themselves.

post #3 of 25

i have 3 lots of chicks - group 1 is 5 weeks old, group 2 is 3 weeks + 3 days old ,group three is 2 days old

i tried mixing groups 1 and 2 together when group 3 was hatched to save on room........ disaster! the bigger chicks trampled the smaller ones, jumped all over them and refused to let them near the food/water until they were finished with what they wanted!

i wouldnt dream of trying to mix chicks of different ages again after that so have 3 seperate brooders for them all. i thought the week and a half difference wouldnt matter but it did!

" Of all the things i've lost, I miss my mind the most."
*Rooster Obsessed!*
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" Of all the things i've lost, I miss my mind the most."
*Rooster Obsessed!*
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post #4 of 25

I had same problem.  The older chicks pick on the younger chicks.  Best to keep them separated by their ages.

post #5 of 25

I was able to mix day olds with my 2 week olds with no problem. But I first cleaned out the brooder and re-arranged it a little bit and put them all in together at the same time. It was like a new place so no one had dibs on it then. I only had one little problem chick, one of the day olds tried to pick on a 2 weekers, they just looked at it and went on thier business. That chick is still a fiesty one, but the only one. I have some day olds coming at time now, but these chicks are 4 weeks and 2 weeks old now and I will be putting the new ones in a seperate brooder till they grow a little (they are bantams, the other aren't). After they gain a little size and presence to themselves I will do the same again and mix them all together in one brooder to make an easier transistion to the coop! But everyones chicks are different wink

Silkies, silkies, and more silkies!

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Silkies, silkies, and more silkies!

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post #6 of 25

I put my 3 wks with my newborn ones..no issues....I mixed them after the day olds had a couple days of food/water to gain
strength...now they just run around together

5 Red Sexlink, 5 turkens, 5 Barred Plymouth, 5 RIR, 5 Black Australorp
2 Brahmas & 3 EE'ers
On the other hand: Mom to 4, Britt 20, Homeschool teacher to Jeron 12, Elayna 7 and Lydia 5 & SAHM/WAHM (self employed), wife to Brian
My belief: Be nice to everyone you meet, we are all fighting some sort of battle in our life.
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5 Red Sexlink, 5 turkens, 5 Barred Plymouth, 5 RIR, 5 Black Australorp
2 Brahmas & 3 EE'ers
On the other hand: Mom to 4, Britt 20, Homeschool teacher to Jeron 12, Elayna 7 and Lydia 5 & SAHM/WAHM (self employed), wife to Brian
My belief: Be nice to everyone you meet, we are all fighting some sort of battle in our life.
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post #7 of 25

Here's what I have in the brooder right now ... 12 - 3 1/2 week old BO pullets (hatched 2/14,) 8 - 2 1/2 week old RIR pullets and 4 SLW (hatched 2/21,) and 11  - 1 1/2 week old EE pullets, 2 BR and 2 BA pullets (hatched 2/28.)   That's nearly 40 chicks ranging from 3 /12 weeks to 1 1/2 weeks.  I lost one of the youngest from them all piling in a corner when it got pretty cold one night, but otherwise I have NO problems.  I did move the first two sets into a much larger space when I introduced the youngest ones and they have plenty of space (which I think is the key, they are in a 8 x 6 room with 3 brooder lamps) but still all like to lay under the same lamp.  I also felt that the older ones had more trouble with the little ones pecking their toes than vice versa!  I am happy to have all of these guys used to each other so that when I introduce them to the other chickens, they will have their own, larger group to hang with and maybe not get picked on so much by my old biddies (they're mean to each other.)  Give it a try, it won't hurt if it does't work and you have to keep them separate, but if it works, it will be much easier!  I like to use more than one lamp so that if one bulb goes out at night, they will have the other until I notice it and replace the bulb.

Tin Star Poultry - working toward Standard bred Silver Campines

BCMs and EEs bred for egg color - Chocolate, blue, and green

Celebrating the second half of my first century
 

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Tin Star Poultry - working toward Standard bred Silver Campines

BCMs and EEs bred for egg color - Chocolate, blue, and green

Celebrating the second half of my first century
 

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post #8 of 25

If my chicks hatch out Friday fl I'm hoping to put them in with my  week old chicks that I bought from TSC this weekend.....You guys are giving me hope that it'll be OK!

thumbsup

Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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Currently keeping a flock of 14 chickens, one rooster and 13 hens.  I have three Easter Eggers, three Golden Buffs, two Marans and six Buff Brahmas.  My hobbies are gardening, chicken keeping, and beekeeping.  I'm married with two sons, a step son and daughter, and two really cute grandkids!
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post #9 of 25

The closer in age and size the better. I would not put day old chicks in with 2 week old chicks, but by the time the day olds had some strength it might work. Keep in mind the temperature difference requirements for day old (95-100F) as apposed to two week old of (80-85F) would also be an issue. Providing there is room enough in the brooder to give all chicks what they need in the way of food, water, and warmth and a fence to separate them if there is a problem, you should be good.  The two flocks will probably hang out together until much older and fully feathered, where warmth is not an issue.

"You have to prepare to die to really understand how to live".
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"You have to prepare to die to really understand how to live".
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post #10 of 25

We had no problem mixing our four 2-week olds with a 1-week old. They all get along great. The younger one is a Plymouth Rock, and I've heard they mix very well. I feel that any older age difference might (and obviously do according to the other posts) cause problems. They grow so fast that the size difference, even with just one week apart, seems enormous. I wouldn't want my little one getting picked on.. better to side with safety here. An if you do combine, do it early or wait until they're grown.

1 buff orpington, 1 new hamphshire red, 1 silver laced wyandotte, 1 blue laced red wyandotte (all 4 weeks), and 1 barred plymouth rock @ 3 weeks old.

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