Can I integrate chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crawfordmama, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    I have 2 chicks who are approximately 4 weeks old. I believe one of them to be a roo. I'm now thinking I'll need a couple more hens (not looking for a boat-load of eggs, just enough for my family). Would I be able to get a couple week-old chicks and add them to the mix with minimal upset? The two I have are pretty tight with each other, as they're the only ones. I don't want any fighting, but won't it be easier to do now rather than later?
  2. the lemon tree

    the lemon tree Songster

    May 12, 2009
    Quote:I've never been in your situation, but in my opinion, I'd wait until the week-olds get a little bigger before you integrate them. At such a young age, week-olds are too tiny and fragile compared to four-week olds, considering their growth rate the first weeks. When you get them, try to keep the new ones close enough to the older chicks so they can see each other. That way, in a few weeks when you are ready to integrate, it won't be such a shock and the acclimation period will go a little smoother.
  3. jenn-E

    jenn-E Chirping

    May 6, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    My chicks are 3.5 wks apart in age. Someone told me that you mix chicks up to 3-4 weeks in age difference, but I though the big ones were just too big (I did add 2 day-olds to a week old group). The younger group is now almost 5 weeks old, and I think we may integrate them this weekend. We did a trial run, and I think the fact that we have more younger chicks was helpful. So if you have space, you might think of getting 3-4 new chicks so that they outnumber the bigger ones.
  4. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

    Aug 17, 2009
    It really depends on the temperment of the first chicks. I have had some that were just a little too bossy to mix with others and right now I have a batch that I have been putting all of my new babies with when they are about a week old. I put them in a small area with their own food and water, but put wire over them kind of like a tent. I leave a little open space at both ends so the small chicks can range out into the rest of the pen, but the larger ones can't get in. That way they have shelter. It has worked for me, but I'm no expert by any means. I just go with what works and am always trying different things. This batch of chicks is the most mild mannered I have ever had. I now have chicks between the ages of 3 wks and 19 wks old. [​IMG]
  5. SonRise Silkies

    SonRise Silkies Songster 8 Years

    Mar 4, 2010
    Everyone has given good advice all ready but I have to chime in and say that the suggestion to put them in cages side by side so they can get used to each other is a good one for sure.
    They soon learn to accept the others.
    And pennie 1 has a great idea too. But this method sometimes results in a bad thing when the bigger chicks learn to chase the smaller ones into the "shelter" Sometimes the shelter chicks just stay there all the time and it seems to teach them to be "scaredy cats" and hide most of the time.
    All this said I have to tell you that I mix ages a lot , it works so far....give them plenty of room and make sure they don't get bored [​IMG] Ususally they will just get along and all will be well.
    I hope this works out for you, I know what it is like to have too many pens and cages with just a few youngsters in each cage.
    Good Luck,

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: