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Best age to merge new chicks with old?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bulldog-girl, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    I want to either hatch some chicks this spring or buy some. I have 13 adults right now and wondered how long I should keep them seperated? Is it age or by size? I can keep them seperated so they can see each other but not touch each other so that they can get used to each other however I am limited to space if the newbies are getting too big.
     
  2. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Merging birds can go real easy or be a royal pain. This is my
    experience.

    I would say 8 weeks in the youngest I would even attempt
    to combine them.

    What breeds are your adults? How old are they?
     
  3. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm interested to hear the answer to this to lol
     
  4. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    129
    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    Quote:I have one Dominique roo about 6 mo old, one SLW 6 mo old, 1 Leghorn, two BO, 1 RIR and the rest are all gold sex links. The ones I did not specify age are between 8 mo to a year a half. Got most of them as adults. I was given the Dom and SLW when they were about 4 months old and merged them after about 4 weeks but they were older when I got them anyway. They were almost full size by the merge and merged without any probs. They had their own pen outside while the rest free ranged around them so they saw each other all the time during the day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    11,744
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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Please understand I in no way consider myself an expert in this.
    However, in the last two years, I have integrated dozens of birds.

    The fact you have a roo will help. He is the king. Hopefully he will
    help the pecking order establish itself quickly.

    The more room you give the birds the better off you are. If you have
    a small coop and throw in new birds there will be fights. If you have
    a run area or the ability to integrate them while free ranging that will
    help a lot.

    I've tried the "put them side by side" technique where they are
    supposed to get used to seeing each other. It didn't work for me.

    The best results I've had is when I merged 2 existing flocks, one
    older and one young together, especially when there is a roo present.

    Expect it to be nasty at first. Those Red Stars may get aggressive.
    Some of the young birds may adjust fine and others may just go nuts.
    A bird running around frantically is an attractive target for the older hens.
    I've had to cull a few birds who were just causing way too much
    commotion in my main flock.

    Finally, patience is key. It looks a lot worse than it usually is. They will
    take weeks to fully adjust to one another.(possibly)

    My last integration was sorta easy. I threw a bunch of 10 week old fryer
    roos, some accidental fryer hens, and two turkies in with my layers. It
    went well.
     

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