A few questions about adding new baby chicks to pair of older chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dancingchicken77, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. dancingchicken77

    dancingchicken77 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 22, 2008
    i am a bit of a newbie. i have two 4-week-old chicks, and am incubating 3 more eggs which are due to hatch in one week. the breed is pekins, which i think in the us you call them cochins? (i'm in australia)

    i have a few questions to ask you guys if you can help me please -

    (1) when the new chick/s hatch, should i add them right away to the box (with lamp) i am keeping the 4-week-old chicks in? can they be together right away, safely? i've heard chickens can be resistent to newcomers. i was thinking of kepeing them separate anyway, as in a few more weeks i thought i'd put the older chicks in a coop outside

    (2) i am thinking of hatching some silkies next. if i do that, the other chicks will be roughly 8-9 weeks and 3-4 weeks old. i understand pekins are a docile breed, but will they happily accept some new silkies into their group? is it ok if it is just one silkie?

    thanks so much in advance if you can help me [​IMG]
  2. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2008
    Norwich, Norfolk, UK
    I would keep them seperate. The smaller ones may have a harder time keeping up with the larger ones, they may get picked on, and they may not be able to get enough food and water. I had two Rhode Island Red chicks hatch out last Tuesday and I'm keeping them seperate from my 7 three week old chicks. I did put the smallest older chick in with the two new ones over night so I didn't have to show them where the food and water was. The next morning though the older one went back in with the other older ones and we haven't had any problems (except for them keeping me awake half the night last night).

    Hope this helps,
    Emily in NC
  3. minna

    minna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    Burnsville, MS
    At that age, I would personally put them together. I had some 4 week old chicks and put 2 day old chicks in with them and they have been together growing fine for 3 weeks. Now I have some 7 week old ones and some 3 week old ones ( you know b/c they grow sooo fast) and I will not be adding my new babies in with them, I am moving the 7 weekers out b/c they are ready to be big girls and putting the 3 day olds in with the 3 week olds. They will be fine. How many do you have and how big of an area?
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    It kinda depends on the activity level of the chickens. At a month different I'd wait until the youngest ones are at least partially feathered and capable of some lift. Otherwise I found the older ones bounced around the brooder over the younger ones heads, pecked at them, and just made life miserable for the little ones. They were walking around with their heads tucked all fluffed up and cowering. At least for introducing the oldest to youngest ones I'd also seperate them where they can see each other for a few days. If you move the others out to the coop then when your ready to move the younger ones put them in a cage or pen in the coop with mesh seperating the chickens until they get used to each other. Then you can try letting them out together and watch them for any bullying. I really didn't have much trouble mixing 12 week and 8week japanese bantams and 5 week EE chicks. The EE were nearly the size of the 12 week old bantams though. The EE were fine with the younger japs after they got a little over a week old and could keep up with them and then a week after adding them to the coop they all mixed easily with the older ones. I just had to wait long enough that everyone could get around the same.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by