Different aged chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FluffyScarsdale, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. FluffyScarsdale

    FluffyScarsdale Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just got two chicks, one RIR and one Black Astrolorp, they are a few weeks old. In April, I will be getting 3 more Black Astrolorps, that are younger in age. Will this be a problem?[​IMG]
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    yes it will be a problem. The original flock will be older, and bigger, and protective of what they see as THEIR turf. They will be very close to full size.

    One cannot add baby chicks to adult birds, unless a bird has gone broody. One cannot make a hen go broody.

    You will have to keep the babies separate from the full grown birds until the babies are nearly full grown.

    Mrs K
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It won't be a problem if you have things set up to easily keep them separate until they are of equal size.
    Integration can be a tricky thing, birds are territorial and will attack 'intruders'. It's best to keep them separate but within sight of one another for weeks before introducing physical contact.

    I used a 'creep crate' in the coop so littler birds could get away from bigger ones.
    These are earlier pics of the set up, I ended up removing the crate door and making a better mesh covering with an adjustable opening for the littlers, but you can see that the entrance to the crate is big enough for littlers and too small for the biggers to get into. By the time the crate was too small for the littlers to roost in, they had pretty much integrated with the biggers and I removed the crate from the coop. This is just one example and idea to help integrate different sized chickens. I also ended up putting the crate under the roost board to the right so I could open the pop door to the run and not need the angled board on top of the crate.



    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    1 person likes this.
  4. FluffyScarsdale

    FluffyScarsdale Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 21, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ

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