Adding chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HJP5686, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. HJP5686

    HJP5686 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2014
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    I have 6 new Hampshire reds and I want to get some more chicks. two questions.
    1- should I get more of the same or can I get different breeds.
    2- how do I integrate the new chicks into the flock.
     
  2. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    nothing wrong with mixing breeds.

    as for integrating them, are the others adults? if so, you'll need the chicks in a brooder of some type for a while anyway, then when they're old enough to move outside, section off part of the coop and run, or have the chicks a separate place, but where they can all see each other. When the chicks are about the same size as the others, then put them together and let nature take it's course. Yes they'll establish the pecking order, it's what they do. They're not being mean, they're not trying to kill them, they're just establishing who's who and who's in charge :)
     
  3. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get any type you like but be aware of size differences, you'll want to introduce after a period of quarantine and brooding.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  4. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2014
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    I think you can mix ages of chicks in your brooder if you watch them carefully to make sure they get along and no one is prevented from getting to the food and water, and no one is aggressively picking on anyone else.

    I think it's best to keep them relatively close in age and heat requirements, however, I have had success adding two day old chicks to four week old turkey poults. Maybe I just happened to luck out with exceptionally gentle turkeys. But there is always the possibility that your mix might not be so lucky, and you have to be prepared to separate them.

    As long as you can have a warmer area and a cooler area in your brooder, then the older chicks can get away from the heat while the younger ones stay closer to it. My poults have not seemed to mind that I cranked their heat back up to 90 when they had been used to high 70s. But I will still have to have a separate brooder for them to graduate to, because soon they will be ready to acclimate to outdoor temps. So in the end, with mixed ages, you still need two brooders, unless you keep the age difference real small.

    Here is what my brooder looks like right now.
    Clockwise from top center, 1.5 week old chick, 2 day old chick, 9 day old chick,2 two day old chicks, 32 day old turkey, 2.5 week old chick, 9 day old chick. (And the big butt on the top grate is another 32 day old turkey.)

    [​IMG]

    Also, my last batch of chicks got more aggressive with each other as they grew, and it is necessary to expand their space so they aren't always in each other's faces, and not bored. If there is a runt, it may become the target of all the others. So all these day-to-day dynamics have to be constantly monitored.
     
  5. HJP5686

    HJP5686 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2014
    Massachusetts
    Thank you, the girls are about a year old. My wife wants silkies but I'm worried about the size difference.
     
  6. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely brood the silkies separately and get a comparable amount so they can feel secure in their own flock
     

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