Different Aged Chicks - Okay to Mix?

itgns

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 28, 2013
68
2
94
Central California
I have five chicks that will be shipped to me next week. They will be a day-old when I get them. The feed store down the road from me has some new chicks of a different breed that I wanted that weren't available to ship to me.

Would it be wise to get some of those chicks and mingle them with the day-olds that will be delivered next week or would this be a really bad idea?

This is also my first time with chicken math! Oh gosh.
 

gimmie birdies

Free Ranging
8 Years
Feb 12, 2013
11,427
18,501
742
Eastern WA
tell me about it! I just got one blue andelusian to ad to our flock of week old babies, I took 2 babies out separate and the will eat and drink then at night the go back to broody, they will be fine. before that, I had a 2 week old single with mom, then gave 8 new babies, now this one.
 

gimmie birdies

Free Ranging
8 Years
Feb 12, 2013
11,427
18,501
742
Eastern WA
sometimes it is hard to mix if they are diff ages if you have just one, but if there is a bunch everyone gets lost in the mix and there is no target.
 

itgns

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 28, 2013
68
2
94
Central California
Thanks for the replies. :) From what it looks like, the one or two I'd be getting from the feed store would be older. If there's only one or two older chicks, would they still be the ones picking on the other chicks or would they get picked on by the littler chicks?
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,919
516
middle TN
I mixed with a three-week age span without issue. It really depends on how old and how aggressive those feed store chicks are. There is a lot of growth those first few weeks. IME, though, the slightly older chicks were treated as a mama substitute by the younger chicks and as long as the attention was well-received, no problems.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,961
22,374
907
Southeast Louisiana
I don’t raise different aged chicks together in a brooder. It’s just not something I do. They are all the same age. I do have broodies raising chicks a few weeks different in age in the flock. I’ll add I really respect Debid’s advice on this forum on many topics. Debid is not a rookie and seems to know how to observe.

I think there is a lot of luck involved. I’ve seen chicks hatched together by a broody where one killed a hatchmate while the broody watched. No age difference. I’ve seen a chick get separated from the broody for hours without a problem, while the other hens walked right by it to get to their nests to lay. I had a one week old chick get killed by 8 week olds when it got separated from a broody and into a pen with the older chicks. Sometimes the other flock members tolerate a younger chick and sometimes they attack it. You can read all kinds of stories on here with widely varying results.

Any more mature chicken outranks a more immature chicken. If there is any picking done it will be the older on the younger.

No one can give you absolute guarantees of what will happen and I don’t know the age differences of those chicks. I’d suggest trying it but observe and be prepared to split your brooder for a few days, maybe with a fence. If there is a problem separate them for a few days, then try again. But leave them where they can see each other for a few days so they can get used to each other.

Good luck!
 

gimmie birdies

Free Ranging
8 Years
Feb 12, 2013
11,427
18,501
742
Eastern WA
mine are one 3 week old chick, 8 one week chicks, and one day old. My 3 week old chick was lonely and I introduced the 8 when he was 2 weeks old. he was happy to have friends. and my day old, I put in 2 bantams for the first day then tucked everyone under a mom. now they are happy.
 

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