Age Mixing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by enggass, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Is adding some newborns in with some 3-4 week old chicks going to be a problem?
    And at what age should they all be mixed in with the older birds?
    I have heard 5 months or so for the latter.

  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I have mixed tiny chicks in with 3 weeks old with no problems and done so and had all sorts of problems. It really depends on the chicks. I have found that once the tiny chicks get up and mobile that it is less of a problem. They really just want to sleep the first little bit and they are still uncoordinated. Once they are up and moving it is better. You might try it and just monitor the situation for a bit. If it looks like the tiny babies are getting picked on you can seperate them all back out for another couple of days.

    Switching them into a grown pen is trickier. Again though, it really depends on the chickens. I have had some that were terrible to integrate. The poor youngsters got picked on terribly. This last round I integrated was a silkie pen. I had zero problems in there. The big silkies peck at them if the babies get in their way, but they don't go out of their way to attack them.

    In my LF pens I build a brooder pen for the half grown babies. I usually move them outside at around 4 weeks. The outdoor brooder pens are in the middle of the LF runs, so the big chickens get used to seeing them all day long. To transition the two groups I just open up one side so the young ones can get through, but the grown chickens are too big to squeeze through. That way the babies can come and go and can get away from the bigger chickens. After a couple of weeks they are all wandering around each other with no problems.

    There is no hard and fast rule about what age to transition them. I generally do it when I need the brooder space again. The more used to each other that they are the better. The closer they are in size the better as well. Whatever you do, just keep an eye on them for a while. Eventually it will all work out. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by