Help me make a plan for the BOs coming next week

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HeatherT, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. HeatherT

    HeatherT Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 2, 2012
    We ordered 8 chicks from the farm store, two of each breed. They've been coming in two by twos, and the transition has been fine. The last two - Buff Orpingtons - get here next week. By then the two oldest - the Black Australorps - will be over 3 weeks. Last night I was reading the reviews on BOs and seeing as how they are easily bullied, I'm starting to get worried for the new arrivals.

    We could section off a portion of the huge plastic tub they are all in... But then do I have to buy another feeder and water setup? Or do you think we should just introduce them and keep a close eye for the first few days? I think the breeds we got are all pretty low key.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks for helping the helpless.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    452
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usually you can mix ages under 4 weeks, if they have enough space. Give them a treat (or scatter some feed on the floor) to distract them.
     
  3. HeatherT

    HeatherT Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 2, 2012
    So is it safe to say that if they mix well the first hour or so, they will be fine? We're going somewhere in the evening after the newbies com, and I'm paranoid that I will come home and the olders will have eaten the BOs.
     
  4. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,131
    35
    168
    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i'm real new at this chicken stuff, but things went bad for me within a couple of hours. these guys were all the same age. i think if i hadn't been there to catch it, i would have had a couple of dead bo babies. i think my situation was they were starting to get crowded & therefore bored. as soon as i moved them into bigger quarters, all problems stopped.
     
  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    493
    10
    111
    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    You might just cage or put the BOs in the bathtub (adding something "Non_slippery" to it first... pine shavings and hay over cloth or cardboard?). Just while your gone, or just until the next morning when you can be there to monitor their integration. And, they will need water and food, water that is not deep enough for them to get into and drown in.

    Three week old chicks will pick on younger chicks, regardless of breed. "Pecking order" and over food.

    Later.... when they are all together in a bigger set up, brooder, coop..... You can get a bale of Alfalfa hay.. it's costly and getting more so but, they like it, it's good for them, they will "scratch" in it, on it, at it.. . and it will keep them busy (any age chicken). You can have more than one food dish and more than one water dish.. and you should watch for picking and wounds from picking when they huddle together and/or sleep together (everyday, every am). Cabbage (as well as Alfalfa hay) works for "busy work" for the flock when chicks are introduced, it will keep the older ones busy and distracted, for a little while.
    Other than that, maybe a cut in half zuchinni squash... there isn't much that very young chicks can eat, or should eat, besides chick starter. (I am mentioning the Alfalfa hay and cut in half or peeled zuchinni as "busy work" to help keep them from picking at each other. Two feed dishes and two waterers when you have room will help them not to fight as much to eat. You can provide them with grit (w/oyster shell in it)... and, a sand box if the are in the coop and run and not confined when you have room.

    Sounds like your biggest concern is just not being home one evening?

    Do you have a coop, run, flock that these will all ultimately be added to? A cage set within the coop, flock area with all they need in it, and the flock's food and water just up against the outside wall of the cage will help everyone to "get aquainted" for a day or three by "eating and drinking together", to be head to head.
    Remember, little chicks have to be inside or have warmth for five weeks or until they have feathers on their heads and all over... are completely feathered out.

    Do you have an extra bathroom and tub? Needs to be made "non-slippery"... but, my large tub has been a brooder several times.
    Even a cardboard box will do for a night, but you will need food and water that is safe for little chicks, that they won't fall into and not be able to get out.. chicks have drowned in puddles from rain, water dishes too deep to get out of.

    Just some thoughts... some ideas... depending on your situation and set up..... Best of luck.
     
  6. HeatherT

    HeatherT Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 2, 2012
    Just wanted to thank you for all the info Pauper! I think the feed store will hold them for a short period of time so I'm going to pick them up on Friday instead of Thurs so I can watch them. I might try the alfalfa too. I'll keep y'all posted on how it goes!
     
  7. HeatherT

    HeatherT Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 2, 2012
    They're here! I got a small little brick of alfalfa hay and some pine pellets instead of the shavings we've been using. Also I finally added a nice stick to use as a perch. With all the excitement of the new things, the olders have barely noticed the tiny Buff Orps. I was worried that they were getting bullied away from the water, but I just went in to check and they were both drinking. I actually saw one of the Buffs stand up for herself and give a little peck to a Bramah who was pushing her around!

    Its so cute having all these different sized checks digging around.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Heres a pic. (hopefully)

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7184/6821481864_81cecf5e41_d.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by