Combining Flocks, but Both are Young?

Cage Free Mom

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
20
0
22
Bridge City, TX
Hi everyone!

We are brand new to chickens, with 6 2-wk old chicks. They are currently in the brooder and we plan to move them outside once the coop is done & the weather is consistently warm (probably a couple of weeks).

Well right around that same time, we are supposed to get some more chicks from a family friend that are in her incubator, so they'll be about a month or so apart. I'd never considered that it would be a problem merging 2 "flocks", so we accepted her offer. Now I'm reading that it could be a problem. We don't have room for 2 coops and runs in our yard. What can we do about it? I really want the extra chicks just so we can grow our flock and get more eggs for friends/family! Since they will be so close in age and still so young, is it likely there will be a problem? Or is that more for a grown flock accepting a baby flock?

Any help or advice is appreciated!
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
526
328
Ohio
I think you'll be fine. Age isn't the issue, it's the relative size of the birds. If one flock is full grown and the other one is much smaller in size, under 16-18 weeks old, then the mature hens will really give them trouble. I think that if you put the two flocks into the run together at the same time, so that it's new territory for both flocks, they'll be too worried about the new surroundings to pick on each other much.
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
It should be OK. My wife had to have the silkies when they came in to the store 4 weeks after we bought the regular chicks. The chicken farmer said the pecking order issue is not a problem until 12 to 14 weeks old. It proved to be true.

The challenge is making sure the little ones are kept warm while the older ones are not over heating.
 

Cage Free Mom

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
20
0
22
Bridge City, TX
Thanks. Our brooder is kind of small. I was planning to move the current chicks into the coop/run before we get the new babies so none of them are cramped. Is that not a good idea?
 

Chickenfarmer95

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
12
0
22
When you put them together do it at night they are more willing to except them if they wake up next to them
lol.png
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
OP,

That should be fine. Just monitor the weather. If the temperature is lower than necessary for babies, just provide a heat source that they can run to for warm up. My babies actually use the pullets as serrogate mothers.
 

Cage Free Mom

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
20
0
22
Bridge City, TX
OP,

That should be fine. Just monitor the weather. If the temperature is lower than necessary for babies, just provide a heat source that they can run to for warm up. My babies actually use the pullets as serrogate mothers.
So, what DOES the temperature need to be? :)
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
526
328
Ohio
So, what DOES the temperature need to be? :)
There are some very specific temps people use depending on the age of the chick. But the easiest thing to do is let the chicks tell you. Hang a red heat lamp about 24" off the ground. If the chicks all crowd under it, lower it a little. If they all stay away from the center and sleep around the edges of the light, raise it. If they run around away from the light then come in to get warm then run around again, it's just right.
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
Are you refering to the outside ambient temperature or the "brooding" temperature the chicks need?

From hatch, the chicks need the 95 degrees gradually decending as they age, you probably already know this. I personally dont find it necessary to be so precise. Just provide a heat source, observe and adjust.

As for outside temp, it would be nice to be close to the "brooding" temperature but nature has a mind of its own. It will fluctuate that is why you will need a heat source.

Two weeks ago, the night temp went down to 40's. The chicks did fine. Now they are older and temp is mild (60-70s) during the day, the heat lamp is off during the day. I imagine in two more weeks, I can remove it completely.

Hope this helps.

I should mention that they are not free ranging yet.
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
I am new to raising chickens as well. I first ordered Barred Rocks which will be here May 22nd. I fell in love with Silkies so I ordered some which will be here at the end of the month. I did that thinking they would be okay to integrate considering the size difference. Did I make the right move? Lol
 

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