Adding new chicks in with 3 week old chicks

NoCal chick

In the Brooder
May 29, 2020
17
22
31
Hello,

I have 4 lovely and healthy Buff Orpington chicks who will be 3 weeks old when I can get a few Barred Rock chicks (likely to be a week old or younger) to add to the brooder.

My questions:
1) how should I handle introductions with the larger chicks? The BO chicks are a tight-knit little group.

2) Should I separate the brooder between the two groups? I was thinking of using some chicken wire on a wood frame and placing length wise down the middle. That way they can see and interact with one another but the “bigs” can’t get any pecks in.

3) Is there a good “sign” when I can let both groups mingle? I’ll have 7 in total: 4 Buffs and 3 Barred Rock.

Any advice welcome!
 

Tamdog

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
423
1,528
196
I had four 2 week olds and went back a week later and bought 2 one day old chicks from the same breeder- she said throw them right in together with the others. I did- not do an intro period, just watched them for a while- they were fine. The two newbies stayed shy for a while but no one peeked them or treated them bad. - That was my experience.
 

NewBoots

Free Ranging
Nov 30, 2018
1,557
7,579
607
Lakeside, OR
2) Should I separate the brooder between the two groups? I was thinking of using some chicken wire on a wood frame and placing length wise down the middle. That way they can see and interact with one another but the “bigs” can’t get any pecks in.
Odds are @Tamdog is right and you could probably just mix them together. At 3 weeks they aren't normally territorial yet but just in case, have option 2 ready to go. As far as a "sign" they are ready to mix? I just waited a week then mixed mine together. That's shorter than an integration of adults, but with chicks you want to take advantage of the low aggression they have for a while.
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2018
1,602
10,308
626
Lakeside, Oregon
Hello,

I have 4 lovely and healthy Buff Orpington chicks who will be 3 weeks old when I can get a few Barred Rock chicks (likely to be a week old or younger) to add to the brooder.

My questions:
1) how should I handle introductions with the larger chicks? The BO chicks are a tight-knit little group.

2) Should I separate the brooder between the two groups? I was thinking of using some chicken wire on a wood frame and placing length wise down the middle. That way they can see and interact with one another but the “bigs” can’t get any pecks in.

3) Is there a good “sign” when I can let both groups mingle? I’ll have 7 in total: 4 Buffs and 3 Barred Rock.

Any advice welcome!
We integrated chicks that were about that far apart in age by putting them behind a chicken wire "wall" in the coop for a day or two, with their own food, water, and Mama heat plate. The first group was 2 weeks older than the others, and after a couple days, we mixed them and it was all fine. We were probably a bit over-cautious, but it was our first ever chicks so...yeah.
 

Amylynn514

In the Brooder
May 5, 2020
22
20
26
We hatched some of our backyard chickens' eggs this spring. Two of our hatches were 3 and a half weeks apart. I decided to divide the brooder into 2 sections and integrate the smaller chicks when they were about a week old. The bigger chicks had different plans and ended up making their way over the divider (and under the screen covering the brooder- quite a feat!) when the younger chick was just 3 days old.

Anyway, there have been no issues. The little chick we kept (a friend wanted 4 of it hatchmates) thinks it's one of the older chicks, following them and copying their every move. It is super fun to watch them. I was initially concerned about the age difference, but I guess it wasn't an issue for the birds!
 

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