Combining batches from different hatcheries good or bad?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Charlieandlola, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Charlieandlola

    Charlieandlola Out Of The Brooder

    32
    3
    24
    Jan 13, 2013
    I have two orders placed this spring from two different hatcheries. Both are scheduled to be here April 1 or the week of. One is local and I know will be here April 1, the other might be here 1-2 days later. Both orders are a mix of day old laying hens and meat birds, all standard size. I know that the meat birds grow fast and need to be separated from the laying hens within a few weeks. My question is, is it a good idea to put all the day olds together even though they are coming from two different hatcheries? Also, if one delivery is off by a day or two, will it be okay to put them all together in the same brooder area?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,108
    3,312
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It shouldn’t be any problem at all as long as your brooder is big enough. You’ll be surprised at how fast they grow.

    Chicks that age can be combined without any real worries about aggression. It’s always possible to get a bully, but that won’t be because you are combining the two groups. That can just as easily happen if they all hatch together.

    As long as the chicks are coming from legitimate hatcheries, they are about as safe as possible as far as possible diseases go. Those hatcheries keep things really sterile. They can’t afford to get a reputation of shipping diseased chicks. A few years back a major hatchery did have a problem with a disease, but they corrected it. Otherwise they would not still be in business.

    You might want to set up two separate brooders though, one for the layers and one for the meat birds. I’m assuming the meat birds are the broilers, Cornish X, Cornish Cross, whatever you want to call them. Their eating habits and growth rates are different and they make a real mess with how much they poop. I think you will really be happier if you separate them form the very beginning.
     
  3. Charlieandlola

    Charlieandlola Out Of The Brooder

    32
    3
    24
    Jan 13, 2013
    Okay, thank you. You are probably correct that I should set up two right away. I remember last year, when I raised a small batch of chickens that the cornish cross had to be separated from the layers in less than 2 weeks, but still needed a heat lamp. It was kind of a hassle, so I might as well do it from the start.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by