Combining different age chicks in brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ia02, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. ia02

    ia02 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two chicks approximately two weeks old in the brooder currently. I am about to receive two additional chicks that will be only a few days old. I have done very well introducing the older pullets into the general flock of adults, but have never encountered this situation.

    What do you all think? Add the new chicks to the brooder now? I'd prefer to do this for simplicity but am worried the baby chicks could get picked on. Is there a way to help ease the tension? Maybe by adding hiding places or something like that?

    I could also start a separate brooder for the new chicks and combine in a few weeks? This is less proffered because I only have on heat light, and food/water setup as of now. I'd have to repurchase all this equipment.

    FYI, the brooder is big, about 8 square feet. There are no real crowding issues.

    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  2. pipAchick

    pipAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've always been warned to quarantine new mixing with old. I've heard a week upto three weeks. Just because you work so hard to hatch&then mites or whatever can spread to weaker chicks. That don't mean I've always done it, but would love to know others experience with this?
     
  3. ia02

    ia02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Typically I would follow this protocol as well. In this particular case I feel it's less important because I am dealing with two rounds of brand new chicks, from the same source. It's likely that both batches would have any bug or issue that either batch had. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm less worried about this than the chance of someone picking on the smaller chicks.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The only way to find out is to try it. I don’t do that but that’s only because of the way I hatch or buy chicks. Plenty of people on here have said they usually have no issues combining chicks with that age difference.

    But you are dealing with living animals, you cannot be sure of what will happen. I once had a 2 week old chick kill its hatchmate, exactly the same age and they had been together for two weeks. That chick came close to killing two others but I saw it happening and intervened. The broody hen just stood by and did nothing. That chick was just a brute.

    You will probably be OK but you might want a plan B just in case. Maybe make an open-top box out of hardware cloth to put over the chicks in the brooder if they need to be separated. Turn it up-side-down to trap the chicks so you can separate them in the brooder. But try it first and see how it goes. You’ll probably be OK.
     
  5. ia02

    ia02 Out Of The Brooder

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    This
    This is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  6. Flying C Farms

    Flying C Farms New Egg

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    Hello, I tried doing this last week. We purchased 6 chicks and tried putting them with 6 chicks that we bought 2 weeks before. the bigger one kinda stopmped/ stepped aggressively and pecked at the little ones. We watched for about 7 mins then removed the little ones.
     
  7. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently had the same issue as well - 6 were 4 weeks old, then 2 more a week old. I put them in the same brooder but separated them with some hardware cloth. I even put some cardboard up so they couldn't see each other. They are very interested in each other, always looking over the cardboard to see what's going on. they all huddle around the hardware cloth as well - as though they want to be together.
     
  8. ia02

    ia02 Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE: I decided to separate the older chicks from the younger ones with a little ring of hardware cloth inside the brooder. I plan to keep them separated for a week or so. So far they seem to have very little interest in each other so I don't anticipate any issues whatsoever. I'll post a photo of the setup at some point.
     
  9. pipAchick

    pipAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good idea actually thanks!
     
  10. pipAchick

    pipAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please do I'd like to see it set up too
     

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