3 day old chicks with 3 week old chicks?


In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
Upstate New York
Due to a mix up at my local farm supply store we were only able to get 3 of the 7 chicks we ordered. I ordered the 4 more we had wanted but was not able to get them as quick as I hoped. This leads to my question...

I will have 3 day old chicks and 3 week old chicks. How do I introduce them?

Will they have to be in separate brooders due to their size and different temperature requirements? If so, can they ever live in the brooder together? If not, can the older ones stay in their brooder longer than necessary so that all 7 can move into the coop on the same day?

I didn't want to start off with 2 different flocks. I am hoping they can mix and mingle sooner rather than later to hopefully become a big happy family. Is a 3 week age difference a lot in the chicken world?

I am using a oval galvanized stock tank for my brooder. It is 2 feet wide by 6 feet long. It has a height of 2 feet and we made a cover for it with 2x4s and hardware cloth so they can't fly out when bigger.

Any friendly advice is welcomed! Thanks!


May 2, 2015
Welcome to BYC!!! :D

Personally, I wouldn't until the younger ones are a little older. However, put them in the same brooder with a see-through fence/mesh screen. I took a gate off of one of my portable plastic dog houses and used that to separate the two. This way they can see each other. In the meanwhile, try putting them together under your supervision for a little bit each day. If the older ones start picking on the younger ones, separate them- it's not time to put the two together yet. When the two different age groups can be together and not pick on each other, that's when you can permanently move the two together. (At least, that's what I did).

(note that some pecking is okay- this establishes a pecking order. but you have to know when too much is too much)

Also, when I did this with my chickens (who were a 1-2 weeks apart), they were ready to be in the same coop in about 1.5 weeks. Now the older ones snuggle with the younger ones. Its adorable :D

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
There will be some minor skirmishes, no matter what. But the earlier you get the 2 groups together, the better. Meet the heat needs of the babies, and as PP stated, put a divider up initially, but... aim to remove it within a few days. You can start the integration by plopping the least dominant older chick in with the babies for some supervised play dates. When that goes well, add an other, and continue doing so, until all have spent a bit of time together. Then you can take down the divider with supervision, then for the day, and then for good. Most important: Plenty of room, plenty of feeding areas and water spots.

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