Getting 2 batches of chicks 5 weeks apart

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bishop6, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. bishop6

    bishop6 New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 7, 2016
    Maryland
    Is it a bad idea to get 2 batches of chicks 5 weeks apart?
    I'm getting 2 today, and the other 6 I will be getting in 5 weeks.
    I have the brooder ready. I was thinking once the 6 get here, the 2 can go into the coop.
    Will they get along?

    I'm a first timer!!!
     
  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    159
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    Welcome to the community! :frow

    If I were you I wouldn't keep the two five week olds with the six day olds when they first arrive. Day old chicks are still sleepy and fragile, and five week old chicks are much more rambunctious and flighty. Which could result in the day olds getting trampled. Plus, day olds need to be kept warmer.

    I would keep the two batches separated until they are closer to the same size before introducing them to one another.

    Just my opinion. :)
     
  3. Gnarled Carrots

    Gnarled Carrots Out Of The Brooder

    93
    9
    41
    Feb 17, 2016
    Washington
    5 week old chicks are much larger than newly hatched chicks. They grow about double their size for the first several weeks of their lives. They also create bonds with their current flock and are less likely to accept newcomers. If you add them together right away, they will peck at smaller chicks and may keep them from food and water. It helps to keep them separate in different brooders that are side by side. That way they can see and smell one another for several weeks before you put them in with one another! 4 weeks is about the standard time to get chickens to get along without harming one another when they're integrated.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,960
    2,950
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Well. You've received a variety of advice. You're going to have to consider it all carefully, and select what you feel will work best for you.

    That said, here's what my experience has been trying to put two groups of chicks together that are five to six weeks apart in age. It doesn't work.

    What did work pretty well, though, was to introduce the two age groups together early on separated by a safety barrier. That way, the younger chicks grew up in proximity to the older ones, and eventually, when they all became similar in size, they got along pretty well.

    By the way, chickens recognize each other from their faces, not by smell, which is a minimal sensory organ in the species.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,004
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Yeah, I've found even a week or two can be a problem.....first year I had 3 age groups(2 to 6 weeks apart) of chicks to integrate.
    Did a lot of chicken juggling and rigging up separate areas until I got them all living together.....then I had to integrate them all with the main flock.




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

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


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

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    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.

    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.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    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.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by