Can I add chicks to my "already begun" brood?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by We4newbies, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. We4newbies

    We4newbies Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, there!
    Am hoping for some help. We are just beginning our first flock of chickens... So excited!

    First of all, I'd like to say that this site has been absolutely AMAZING! Every time I've had a question during my research and thought my query would result in no "hits", I would be amazed to see multiple threads answering even my most intricate or odd questions. Everything from "normal poop" to when they feather out...
    So, thank you, to everyone who has been so helpful to others and willing to share your experiences...I have been the "vicarious beneficiary" of your helpfulness!! [​IMG]

    We purchased our first chicks from Big R this Wednesday (so fun! Yes, I am ALREADY addicted![​IMG]): 4 Buff Orpington Pullets, 4 straight-run Australorps (we'll see what happens there. lol). I am hoping to have Barred Rocks, as well, but they do not come in until early next month.
    So, here's my question...
    Is is possible to add the new chicks to my brooder then? My current chicks will be just about a month old at that time. Will it be safe for the newbies? What sort of an "age gap" can there be without too much fear of the younger being pulverized by the elder?[​IMG]

    Thanks so much!!!
     
  2. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on the chicks. I have some that are 1 week today, some that will be 4 weeks this weekend, and some that are 5 weeks as of Saturday. (If I did my math correctly. o_O) My 4 week olds are pretty excepting of the new babies. The 5 weeks olds, excepting, but with some curious pecking. They are not all in the brooder. The 4-5 weeks olds are all in the coop. I've introduced them a few times and I think I could safely leave the babies with the 4 week olds. I wouldn't be as comfortable with the 5 week olds. You just have to watch them and decide if you are comfortable leaving them together.
    You also have to watch out for the rooster chicks if you have any. When they discover they are dominant they might hurt the little ones. (And the ones their size, for that matter.)
     
  3. thomaschickens

    thomaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too am new to this site and LOVE that any possible question has already been asked and answered [​IMG] I was told from the place I get my chicks from that anything more than a 2 week age difference is too much of a size difference in babies and even then you need to keep a close eye to make sure no one's getting picked on. As they get older of course you can combine them. I too had this issue since most of my chickens were born at the end of February but 2 other breeds weren't going to be born for nearly 3 weeks. So I just fashioned a second brooder out of an old bird cage which should be ok until they're closer in size. Good luck. Chickens are SO much fun!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] to both of you. :)
     
  5. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    I try not to place chicks in the same brooder that differ in age more than a week to 10 days. They require different temps and grow very fast the first few weeks!

    Nate
     
  6. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can regulate their own body temp if you put the heat lamp on one side of the brooder. That way they can choose how much heat they get. I haven't had a problem with that at all.
     
  7. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried mixing birds of various ages with varying ages. I found that up to 2 weeks age difference was not problem. At 3 weeks difference I had problems with the older birds trampling the new chicks that were only a couple of days old. My solution was to put a divider in the brooder for 1 week. By the time the younger birds were a little over 1 week old they were fine with the birds that were 3 weeks older. I did not have problems with pecking or anything like that. My only problem was the the older birds were so much stronger than the younger birds.

    This year I am getting another batch of 20 chicks. I am fortunate that all of the breeds I want are available in a 1 week period. I will be getting some on Apr 6 and the others on Apr 13. I plan to mix them all in one brooder and don't anticipate ay problems.
     
  8. We4newbies

    We4newbies Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2011
    Thanks so much for all of your input. I have a much better idea, now, of what will work... I think I might divide the brooder as suggested, just until the size difference is not so great! Appreciate all the help! ...And any more tips for making this a successful "merging" are welcome!
     
  9. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We4, I am in the same.boat as you are and this is how I am handling it... I got 8 birds last week, getting 6 more this week ... they are all going together... in 3 weeks, I am getting another 6 (at least :) ) ... and they will be in the same brooder with a chicken wire divider so they can see and smell eachother for a few weeks ... I will let you.know how that works
     
  10. Heres my 1 cent

    we have some 2day old chickens and turkeys with 3 week olds and 6 week olds LOL

    shouldnt mix the 2 days with them but still, the 3 week olds do fine with the 6 weeks olds
     

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