I’m a newb and I’m integrating different age chicks

LaurenD82

Hatching
May 23, 2020
3
0
6
Hey everyone, first post. Might be doing this wrong, crucify if you must lol But would love some advice and let me know if I’m doing something wrong anything I can be doing to make things easier. Much appreciated 😊

My original flock are 8 - 4 week old chicks

2 barred rocks
2 australorps
1 Easter egger
1 maran (?) not sure if blue or black or cuckoo
1 golden laced polish
1 welsummer

Adding 15 - 1 week old chicks

3-Rhode island reds
3-Easter eggers
3-buff orp
1-Lav orp
2-French black copper marans
2-olive eggers
1-surprise chick - looks like a cream legbar imo

So for the first two days after arrival of the new baby chicks they were in a separate brooder. Giving them electrolytes and probiotic since they were sent in the mail and wanted to monitor for possible respiratory issues/bowl issues (cocci) All seems fine so I decide to integrate slowly.

I then added them to same brooder with a screen in between on day 3. All have separate heat, food, water. Everyone is thriving!!!

Day 5 I decided to let them mingle together with very low hopes it would work out. However it went pretty well. By end of day I separated again with hardware cloth to be safe!

Day 6 all day together but isolated the bully’s (only 2) once nightfall came I brought all back together, all went to sleep happily no issues.

Today Day 7 everything was good all morning by mid day we had some pecking, some that was more aggressive than I felt comfortable with. There are 3 from the older group (4 week) that are not being nice. I isolated with hardware cloth in same brooder. About 6 hours later I brought them back in and still they are nasty. I can tell those 3 were at the bottom of pecking order that had started within that group.

No blood drawn, no injuries..

My plan is to go about the day and let them go to sleep and see how it goes. Is that a bad idea? Hoping to get some input from those more experienced.
Thanks!!
 

Tre3hugger

Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Mar 21, 2020
2,725
8,837
456
NW Massachusetts
I think as long as they are not drawing blood or injuring each other, they will probably work it out themselves. Maybe add a few visual obstructions in the brooder for the bottoms of the pecking order to hide behind/escape to. Chickens show submission by running out of the visual field of the dominant. If they don't have a ton of room, like in a brooder situation, hiding spots become key. Maybe add a visual barrier to your divider, but leave an open alley way so all chicks have access to whole brooder, but there are two sides 90% visually occluded drom each other both with feeders etc. They can mingle when they want, escape when they want. That may be over thinking it, but it seems like you are already there lol.

P.S. We love chick pics, and some pics of your setup may help people advise.
 

Gallinarium

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
897
2,437
256
America
Hey everyone, first post. Might be doing this wrong, crucify if you must lol But would love some advice and let me know if I’m doing something wrong anything I can be doing to make things easier. Much appreciated 😊

My original flock are 8 - 4 week old chicks

2 barred rocks
2 australorps
1 Easter egger
1 maran (?) not sure if blue or black or cuckoo
1 golden laced polish
1 welsummer

Adding 15 - 1 week old chicks

3-Rhode island reds
3-Easter eggers
3-buff orp
1-Lav orp
2-French black copper marans
2-olive eggers
1-surprise chick - looks like a cream legbar imo

So for the first two days after arrival of the new baby chicks they were in a separate brooder. Giving them electrolytes and probiotic since they were sent in the mail and wanted to monitor for possible respiratory issues/bowl issues (cocci) All seems fine so I decide to integrate slowly.

I then added them to same brooder with a screen in between on day 3. All have separate heat, food, water. Everyone is thriving!!!

Day 5 I decided to let them mingle together with very low hopes it would work out. However it went pretty well. By end of day I separated again with hardware cloth to be safe!

Day 6 all day together but isolated the bully’s (only 2) once nightfall came I brought all back together, all went to sleep happily no issues.

Today Day 7 everything was good all morning by mid day we had some pecking, some that was more aggressive than I felt comfortable with. There are 3 from the older group (4 week) that are not being nice. I isolated with hardware cloth in same brooder. About 6 hours later I brought them back in and still they are nasty. I can tell those 3 were at the bottom of pecking order that had started within that group.

No blood drawn, no injuries..

My plan is to go about the day and let them go to sleep and see how it goes. Is that a bad idea? Hoping to get some input from those more experienced.
Thanks!!
You generally don't want to mix chicks at different ages. Even if they get along perfectly, they require different temperatures. You don't want to overheat the older chicks or chill the younger ones.
 

Tre3hugger

Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Mar 21, 2020
2,725
8,837
456
NW Massachusetts
I have heard of many people mixing different age chicks. The brooder should have a gradient of temperatures available, suitable for chicks day old to 8 weeks. Essentially a hot side and a cold side. The bigger your age difference, the larger brooder needed to achieve acceptable gradient, but it's totally doable.
You generally don't want to mix chicks at different ages. Even if they get along perfectly, they require different temperatures. You don't want to overheat the older chicks or chill the younger ones.
 

LaurenD82

Hatching
May 23, 2020
3
0
6
You generally don't want to mix chicks at different ages. Even if they get along perfectly, they require different temperatures. You don't want to overheat the older chicks or chill the younger ones.

I don’t think temp will be an issue, large brooder and plenty of area to be comfortable for different age chicks (heat wise and space wise)

More or less wondering if I should let it play out with the random pecking because I have been hovering 24/7.
 

Gallinarium

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
897
2,437
256
America
I have heard of many people mixing different age chicks. The brooder should have a gradient of temperatures available, suitable for chicks day old to 8 weeks. Essentially a hot side and a cold side. The bigger your age difference, the larger brooder needed to achieve acceptable gradient, but it's totally doable.
Noted. I would recommend using the same method I've used to keep a broody hen out of the chick food. Seperate a section of the brooder with fencing with holes too small for the big chicks to go through, but big enough for the smaller chicks to pop through. Or if you don't have said fencing, cut properly sized holes in cardboard. Continue to check for dissension.
 

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