Combining chicks of different ages....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stevesc, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Stevesc

    Stevesc New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2008
    I have three ( 3 ) incubators going right now. The time of incubation between them is 10 days.

    At what point in age can you put the chicks together after hatching...or can you put each incubator of chicks together as they hatch....?

    Thanks....
     
  2. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm interested in exactly the same question, since I have basically the same situation here.

    Please chime in, all you experienced hatchers!

    I have 2 week olds and a 4 day old (only one hatched) in separate brooders right now--I know the 2 week olds are way bigger than my little one & will peck at her. And hopefully a nice hatch this weekend.

    I would sure like to be able to combine them down the road at some point!
     
  3. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    I'm interested in exactly the same question, since I have basically the same situation here.

    Please chime in, all you experienced hatchers!

    I have 2 week olds and a 4 day old (only one hatched) in separate brooders right now--I know the 2 week olds are way bigger than my little one & will peck at her. And hopefully a nice hatch this weekend.

    I would sure like to be able to combine them down the road at some point!
     
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    If they are less than a week apart in age I'd just wait until the youngest ones are a couple days old and steady on their feet. If they are more than a week apart I'd wait till the youngest ones are a week old so they can stand up for themselves. I tried to put EE chicks with 2 week older japanese bantams. The EE were bigger than the japs but the japs were much more active and steady on their feet. They freaked out the EE chicks with flapping around and jumping over their heads so the poor things were going around huddled up with their heads ducked too scared to move. I waited a few days until the EE were a week old and then tried again and they got along fine because the younger ones were now able to keep up with the activity around them.

    If you only have a few of the younger ones it can help to instead take a couple of the calmer older ones and move them to the younger one's brooder instead of throwing the young one in with the older ones. They won't be as bold for a few days in a new place and with fewer numbers they won't pick on the little one as bad.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I put a new hatched chick in a little bird carrier that was wire and see through so they could see him from day one. The other chicks were almost two weeks old. Then every day I let the little guy out for a few minutes supervised and in three days he was assimilated. Now I have those same older chicks that are maybe six weeks old and am integrating them with a mixed age flock of chicks ranging from a few days to a couple weeks old. So far so good, except for one of the three older ones was a very agressive young roo which got culled. Now it is working out pretty good. Been three days.
     
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I took a pic of the chicks. I sort of crowded them together so you could see the different ages. There is very little pecking from the older ones. The most commotion is from the younger ones running around and trying to fly. There are some tiny ones in there, including week old bantam cochins and marans chicks. Some got stepped on a bit here and there but it didn't take long for them to figure out how to stay out of the way of trouble. If I was going to mix a group like this again, I would have hung some wire mesh or hardware cloth at a steep angle at one end of the brooder with their light, comfy bedding, feed and water under the mesh, so the bigger birds could see them at all times, and the younger birds could come and go as they pleased, but have a quick escape if they needed it. That's all I would have done differently. Anyhow, here is a pic of my mixed chix.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Brahmadarma

    Brahmadarma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My experience so far has been trouble-free. Had five two week old chicks in the brooder, brought home two three-day olds and put them in a wire cage inside the brooder so they could all see each other.
    It only took one night, even though I was going to give it a few days,
    because the two little ones popped out as I was changing their water and they integrated as if they were re-uniting with their family.
    Same thing when they were five weeks old, I got a three day old chick and used the same cage, but all the others did was jump up on it and poop on her! So I thought, Oh well, let's give it a try. This time it was only an hour or so. If anything, she was the one who bossed the older ones about!
    They had plenty of room in the brooder, and they are all pretty calm breeds. Mainly I think they are just happy hens and aren't threatened by a newcomer.
    Good luck.
     
  8. HippiAiti

    HippiAiti Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 4-week-old cochins in a playpen and one day and a half old in a smaller brooder. Today I put them out to run around the house together and the little one was yelling at the older ones and running underneath them & following them around like it was demanding that they mother her or something. She's a tough little chick. I feel so bad that she was the only to hatch. What would the older ones do if I put her in with them? So far they just seemed irritated with her and ran away from her. But, I was right there. Would they hurt her if they had more time and no supervision?
     
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    the only way to know is put her in and step way back so they don't know you're watching. If they go on the attack, then separate her with some wire mesh until they get to know her better.
     

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