Can you add another chick to a brood

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jdoane, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. jdoane

    jdoane Songster

    609
    25
    128
    Aug 7, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    I really don't mean this to sound callous. One of our 4 chicks just died. Only 3 days old. We were originally hoping for three chicks but we got 4 in case of death or rooster. But somehow now I'm hooked on the idea of 4 and we still have to get through making sure none are roosters. The one that died was my one sex linked one so I knew it was a girl. Just wondering if I can find someone local with brand new chicks whether I could add one to the other three or whether they would likely attack it?
     
  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Songster

    I your baby chicks are a 3 days old it shouldn't matter but after a few weeks they bond to each other.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They are young enough to form a tightly knit group when mixed. Make sure you get them from a disease-free source though as best you can!

    For a three day old group I'd not go older than 2 weeks of age in your new chick.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing 7 Years

    6,677
    3,837
    442
    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Yes.

    However, I have had better luck with matching as close to the hatch age as possible (just my experience).

    When I attempt to go younger than broody hatch age, the foster babies don't integrate well as they are too young to keep up with the older hatchlings and momma is not sitting enough for the younger.

    I've not tried older fosters with younger hatchlings yet, but I can imagine that might work better as long as the older fosters don't begin to bully or simply overwhelm the younger hatchlings...hopefully momma would take care of that, but it could cause some problems.

    I know the feeling...had 3 of 5 eggs hatch and really wanted 5, so I tried fostering (unfortunately learned NOT to go younger with fosters with that.)

    Good Luck
    Lady of McCamley
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    13,667
    9,367
    662
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There should be no problem adding a chick of the same approximate age.

    Recently, I had a very bizarre situation where the chicks I was raising turned out not to be the ones I'd ordered. A friend and I had gone in together and he got five Wyandottes and I got five Welsummers. We figured out after about five weeks that we each had the other's chicks. So we swapped, and I brought the five Welsummers home where I introduced them into the brooder with a Brahma chick that had hatched under a broody hen, and was within two days of being the same age as these chicks.

    When I put him in with the five new chicks, there was a tense moment when he challenged one of the chicks, pecked her a good one on the head, and from that moment on, they all settled in just fine, as if they had all been raised together all along.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,693
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've done well having an up to 2 week age difference in the brooder. You just need to be sure you have enough space for everyone.

    A broody hen would be a whole nother story, but it sounds like you're brooding them yourself.
     
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing 7 Years

    6,677
    3,837
    442
    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Totally agree...I stopped brooding under lamps when I found out how easy it was to use a hen, so I have broody hen on the brain and totally blew past you were using heat lamps.

    If you have got them under heat lamps in a brooding shed/container...you can mix ages...feed stores do it all the time....as long as you've got enough room and you keep mind that the older ones aren't so big that they run over the little ones. Two weeks would be a good maximum age difference for that. Just watch that nobody is picking on a smaller one too much.
     
  8. jdoane

    jdoane Songster

    609
    25
    128
    Aug 7, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    Thanks for all the advice. We're getting two new chicks to add to our existing three. Found a relatively local place to get them so we can avoid shipping stress. There will be only a two day age difference. We pick them up tomorrow. Any special advice for introducing them? Do I just put them in the brooder and see how it goes or should I separate them for a while with a screen or something?
     
  9. Veer67

    Veer67 Songster

    I think that they should blend well together I've never seen a 3-5 day old chick fight.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,693
    581
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've always just put them in the brooder. They're so young it doesn't matter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: