Adding two little flocks of chicks together 3 week age difference.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KG in Oregon, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. KG in Oregon

    KG in Oregon Out Of The Brooder

    17
    2
    24
    Apr 22, 2016
    I bought 4 young chicks (3 RR Red and 1 barred rock) and they all get along well. They are outside in a 3 x 3' coop at night and a 4x8' run in the day. I move the run daily. They are about 4 1/2 weeks old now (just getting feathers on their heads).

    I fell in love with 3 tiny easter eggers a week ago and they are in my cardboard box brooder with a lamp, in the bath tub. I plan to have them all together as soon as possible, but am worried that the little ones will get killed by the bigger ones. The little ones can't go out full time for a couple of weeks, though I take them out in the sun when it's warm enough now. I'm in southern Oregon and it's been 60 to 80 degrees in the day time and the coop is heated at night.

    All pullets (as far as we know).

    So, will a 3 to 4 week difference in age be a big problem? Is there a good way to introduce them? Am I an idiot for taking the easter eggers?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,180
    5,082
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    When your youngest ones get old enough to join the older ones you will have to build a temporary pen or separation between them for a while, letting them see each other but not being able to get to each other for a while before trying to let them mingle under supervision. Separate them when things get rough, keep at it until you are comfortable with how they are getting along. It could take a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,453
    7,667
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    Quote:
    .....this coop is not big enough for the 4, let alone integrating 3 more....you need a bigger coop and run.

    You have succumbed to Chicken Math(when you get more chickens than you have space for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    I agree on the space. For your six birds, you'll want a minimum of 24 square feet inside the coop, and 60 square feet outside. I"m guessing you're on the wet side of the mountains? If so, you'll probably want even more indoor space. I'm in GP and while my birds do go out in the rain, they spend a lot more time inside when it's raining. More time inside means more space is needed, or you run the risk of them developing behaviors from overcrowding.

    I don't think three weeks difference is a big deal at all. I've been running a rolling brooder and grow-out pen for the last two months, and I have about a three week age difference (cause eggs incubate for 3 weeks [​IMG]). I put batches of the younger birds in with the older birds every three weeks, and they do just fine. But, one of the keys is having a lot of space. I also keep a lot of fluffy bedding like hay, and roosts that are lower for littles. Things to keep their attention off picking on each other......I haven't lost a chick to other chicks yet.

    I'd say when the littles are about 4 weeks, put everyone together. I don't do drawn out integration, I just put them together and they do fine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  5. KG in Oregon

    KG in Oregon Out Of The Brooder

    17
    2
    24
    Apr 22, 2016
    I agree on the space as well. I just bought a Rubbermaid horizontal shed and I will outfit it as a coop. That will give me 15 sq ft with roosts above plus the smaller coop. They are in a 4x8' hoop enclosure with an adjustable tarp cover[​IMG]

    on wheels during the day. I move it every day. This has given cover from rain, so they can be out pretty much every day. I'm in Roseburg, Winter seldom drops below freezing during the day.

    Do you just put the little ones in with the big ones and everyone gets along or do you have to watch them? I could put the little ones in the small coop and the big ones in the big coop (with everyone outside during the day) to start then when they get bigger, open both doors and let them decide who wants to sleep where. And, who knows, maybe one or two will turn out to be cockerels and I'll be down to a more manageable number. I'm not visiting the chick bins at Costal anymore. Too tempting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  6. JiltdRoyalty

    JiltdRoyalty Out Of The Brooder

    62
    1
    33
    Apr 11, 2016
    Wichita, Kansas
    KG, I like your setup. Off topic, but what are you growing in your tubs?
     
  7. KG in Oregon

    KG in Oregon Out Of The Brooder

    17
    2
    24
    Apr 22, 2016
    I grow anything that needs deep roots in the tubs (horse muck buckets - 2 cu ft). Tomatoes, cucumbers peppers, potatoes, artichoke, strawberries, squash mostly. I have about 40 of them. Also six 4x8 raised beds for everything else, hazelnuts in the corners, blueberries along my front walk, fig, apple, peach, plum and asian pear trees around the perimeter and grapes on all of the fences. I'm into permaculture. I'm in the city proper and we have very small lots. I bought the empty lot next door, but it was mostly covered with asphalt, hence the raised dirt. I also have rabbits. I steal my neighbors leaves in the fall and make lots of compost. I expect it will be even hotter compost now with the chicken manure.

    By the way, OSU is running a free online permaculture course - 4 weeks, through Canvas. If you're interested it runs May 1 - 31 and you can sign up here:

    http://www.canvas.net/find_by_canvas_id/846

    Description

    In this free, online course, you’ll learn about the process, ethics, and principles of permaculture while diving into climate-specific design elements through interactive technology, videos, graphics, and readings. Permaculture design is a method of landscape planning that can be applied to anything, from a home garden or farm to a city block or entire village. Permaculture uses design principles from nature itself and takes into account such things as how indigenous people used the land. This course is designed to benefit everyone regardless of learning style, time commitments, or available technology. Expect to spend between two to four hours each week on coursework.
    Objectives


    • Define what the permaculture design system is, as well as its ethics and principles.
    • Organize the order of the permaculture design process.
    • Diagram elements of watershed, sector, and zone maps.
    • Identify design elements appropriate for each climate.

    Course Instructors

    [​IMG]
    Andrew Millison

    Instructor
    Andrew Millison brings 20 years of experience designing and building permaculture projects to his teaching and wants to share that rich, real-world experience. He's been studying, teaching, and practicing permaculture since 1996. He began teaching permaculture at the college level in 2001 and joined the Horticulture Department at Oregon State University in 2009. Andrew currently teaches Permaculture Design and the Advanced Permaculture Design Practicum at OSU on campus and online.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My current grow-out pens don't have coops. They're more open aviary-style, tucked against buildings and solid board fences. So everyone sleeps together in a huddle. The younger group has a heat lamp, the older group just picks a corner and sleeps there.

    I got 10 of the free chicks from Coastal this year [​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,741
    1,382
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    While I think your set up is alright now, for chicks. Even your older birds are still chicks. This does not look like enough space to me. Rabbits take considerably less space than chickens.

    I am assuming that you are planning on these chickens as a food source. If so, the numbers in your flock should rise and fall. During the spring, you will hatch out or buy chicks, they are tiny and do not take up much space. As summer comes on, everything will need more space. In the fall you need to plan on harvesting old layers and young cockerels. This reduces the flock size to the smallest for the winter months.

    Ideally you need enough space for the height of numbers and size in late summer, you can cheat a little bit as the days are long, and most of the time is spent in the run or free ranging. With the winter, the days are short, mine spend very close to 15-16 hours roosted up. You cannot cheat at this time, or you will get ugly behavior.

    Being as you are just getting started, you should build a real coop and a real run. It is ok, the moveable run that you have, but that is enough space for 2 chickens, 3 full grown birds would be very tight, and problems will start.

    Unless you are talking bantam chickens? They can get by with less space.

    I currently have a coop of 4 x 8 x 6ft high. Space is three dimensional, you can be by with a little less, if you have it taller, but not much. IF you are building it, it should be tall enough to stand in. It just makes it drier, having more cubic space, and more easier to do chores in.

    Humidity is also a problem in too tight of a space. Dry chickens are healthy chickens.

    Mrs K
     
  10. KG in Oregon

    KG in Oregon Out Of The Brooder

    17
    2
    24
    Apr 22, 2016
    My chickens are for eggs only. The rabbits are angora, for fiber. I started out wanting 3 chickens. 7 is out of hand, so I'm avoiding the chick bins completely when I shop. We'll have to see how it goes. If 7 works out, they will last several years. Severely waning supply in chicken semi-retirement will still be enough for just me. If they get too antagonistic I may have to try and re-home a few. we'll play it by ear.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by