Co-housing chicks a week apart


Green Eggs and Hamlet
12 Years
Jul 7, 2007
Middle TN
My co-op is getting barred rock chicks in tomorrow and I would like to add about 6 of them to my world. My incubator hatch is due on the 18th. I have about a dozen of them in there that are so far viable. I only have one brooder (a large wire dog kennel). Can I mix the two ages in one brooder? I figured for the first day or so after hatch to keep them all seperate, but will they be fine after that? When I planned the hatch the co-op was getting chicks later and closer to my hatch.
I do it all the time with my staggered hatches. I put them together if they are no more than a week apart without seperating them at all and they seem to do fine.
Conventional wisdom says it's not such a great idea, but I've mixed peeps like this a lot lately with nothing bad having happened yet.

I do prefer to keep the new peeps by themselves for a week so they're not so vulnerable to trampling, but I have put a banty Modern Game peep in with a couple of week-old Orpingtons and a Barred Rock. Little dude did just fine amongst those towering Orps.

I currently have a bunch of 2-week Marans peeps in with some 5-week Penedesencas. They were put together last week and all is well.
I usually buy my chicks from a local farm store, and the owner always tells me that there is a three week window for combining babies. Of course if you are combining banties with standards you would want to take extra care with the little guys. Right now I have a one week old silkie in with one week CM's and two week Delawares, EE's, and Wyandottes. After the first hour or so, the little girl was assimilated into the group and snuggles with and has done well ever since.
Awesome! Thanks for the reassurance. I shall happily pick out my babies tomorrow.

I've got EEs and Ameraucanas hatching out, so they should all be good size babies too. No worries with that.

Dread Pirate- My OEGB is the feistiest chicken I have! She's a terror and pretty much holds top hen status in that pen. The others tower over her and cower in fear when she is on a tirade. She is one of my favorites!
I also keep my brand new chicks separated from the older chicks for a week or two - that gives them a more peaceful environment to sleep etc right at first, and makes them easier to catch and take care of the problems - pasty butts etc - but have had no troubles integrating them with the older chicks (up to three weeks older) after that.
yeah, i'm gonna have some silkies hatch out about 3 weeks after i get my 2 standard BSL chicks. i'm also gonna have some silkies hatch about the SAME time i get my 2 BSL. i'm not too worried about that....i'm MORE worried about combining the last hatch with the 1st hatch and the 2 standards. the BSL's will be about 3 weeks old when the last hatch is due. i'll be very careful....and probably keep them separated for the 1st week.
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I would say usually its okay but to watch them. The oldest group I have now, even at two or three days would never have accepted anybody "new"
But outside of this last hatch I havent had any trouble mixing chicks that are a week or so apart.
I will have the same problem--2 chicks arrive one week then the other 3 arrive the next (different breeds). I am hoping since its such as small amount of chicks and that the younger ones outnumber the first pair it will be OK.
I am going to have some about 2 months apart - I plan to have the first ones in the coop when the second batch arrives - but if I try to put them into the coop together when one group is 6 weeks and one is 16 weeks do I need to keep them seperated in the coop at first? Will it be as hard as introducing new birds into older flocks - i was thinking 16 wks is pretty close to fully grown? I have read that can be quite tricky with lots of pecking and chasing of the newbies.

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