I'm so confused

SandyM

In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
65
5
38
I really am so confused as to how to get my crew merged.

The low down:
May 19th I have 5, 6-week old Plymouth Rocks arriving and 10, 2-week DP slow growth chicks arriving, and 1, 2-week rooster.

I've never had chickens before and when I go big, I apparently go really big. Well, it seems really big to me.

My original order date for the 10 2-week olds was June 16th, but then I started to panic when I was reading about introducing young chicks to established flocks it can get brutal and segregation is needed. Even though my Plymouth Rocks would only be 10 weeks when the 2 week olds arrive, they'd still be the 'resident' chickens. So I paniced and called the hatchery and said can you ship them all to me on the19th?? I'm still waiting to see if they can accomodate the date change for fhem all on the 19th.

My logic: let the babies (2 week olds) in the coop/run first then seperate an area with a wire fence of sorts, then let the 6 week olds in. Kind of making the 2 weeks the primary residence? Wait, do I put theme in the coop or the run ?? Ugh!! I need popcorn for this stress level. I still think the difference of 4 weeks, which would be May 19th arrival Of the 2 week olds, instead Of 7 weeks (7 weeks if delivery was done June 16th) is a better option.

So I've asked around and apparently this won't go overly smooth as well.

If anyone has any experience in mixing 2 week old and 6 week olds I sure would appreciate hearing about it. The good, the bad and the ugly. This will help me know what to do and what not to do.
I've posted a similar write somewhere else in BYC but I can't seem to find it. I'm still learning to navigate the site.

Thanks so much !!!!

Sandy
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,823
37,043
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! Your two week old chicks need a heat lamp to be warm enough, and the six week old birds don't. You could have the coop divided by that chicken wire, with the babies nearer their heat lamp, and the older chicks on the other side. Lots of space is important, and good food for all. It's so much easier to have a group that's closer together agewise. Pictures of your coop would help too. Mary
 

SandyM

In the Brooder
May 5, 2015
65
5
38
Hi Mary,

Thanks for commenting on my ramblings. The coop isn't completed yet but by the end of this long weekend the Coop will be done.
It is 6.5' wide by 13' long and a 12x12 screened in run .. And when they are older they can free range.
The plan is to have a heat lamp at night for the babies and depending on the weather during the day will decide for us on the usage of a heat lamp.

The combing of the ages is my big stressor. I've read some real harsh things ... I'm hoping to avoid most of it.

I think the 4 week difference is definitely the better option too. As far as feed goes, I have sourced a non-GMO soy free food rich in nutrients. Finding a reliable source of non-GMO feed was mandatory in sealing the deal.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
Two week old chicks need a heat source 24 hours a day, not just at night. Introducing a large group of younger birds to older birds goes smoother than if you were trying to introduce smaller groups. Since the older group of chicks will be the smaller group, when you go to introduce the younger ones, the older ones might be intimidate just because there are more of little ones. Chickens understand when a group outnumbers their own group. If you plan of feeding an unmedicated feed, you might want to make sure you have some medicine for coccidia on hand.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,823
37,043
1,096
southern Michigan
x2. It's safer to feed a chick starter with amprolium, to manage coccidia. You will find out the hard way if it's a problem in your environment, and then have to feed medication to save lives. Mary
 

misfitmorgan

Ordure Heir
5 Years
Nov 20, 2014
1,067
96
161
Black River, Mi
None of those chicks will be off heat lamps unless you live someplace super warm, even overnight. This is the general temp guidelines for chicks.

90-95F 1 week
85-90F 2 weeks
80-85F 3 weeks
75-80F 4 weeks
70-75F 5,6,7 weeks
65-70F 8 weeks
65F 9 weeks
At 10 weeks they should be off lights. Odd are the hatchery has not hardened them off at all so you will need a warm draft free place to either each age group or a big enough space so the different age groups can choose how close to be to the light. Plymouth Rocks would need 70-75F, DP/Roo would need 85-90F. If you live in a place where it is reliably warmer then those temps during the daytime you can go without daytime lights and put nighttime lights on a timer. If chicks get to cold or to hot they will die.

As far as the whole dividing the coop so that the younger chicks are the primary residents....chickens and chicks dont really think like that. They think in term of their "flock" you can take a flock of 5 birds and put them in a coop with another flock of 5 birds and they will for awhile stay in their own flock groups within the coop. It is less the physical space and more the "this is my flock and i am safe with my flock" thinking.

As far as seperateing them, as long as they have enough room to not be crammed in anyplace, have more then one food and water option and more then one heat option they SHOULD be fine all together. A good trick we use when we want to combine brooders is we take all chicks out of the brooders and put them in seperate boxes then clean the brooder to move them into, and put all the chicks we want together back into the brooder...then it is "new territory." It works with ours and it might work with yours too. You might keep them apart for a week or two until the younger ones get a big larger, chick hit a growth slump 7-12 weeks where they slow way down and the younger ones can catch up a bit.
 

jennifer0224

Chirping
Mar 25, 2015
97
40
84
Placer County, CA
Hi. This is my first time with chickens and i have (4) 3-week olds and (4) 7-week olds, so same age difference as you.

I separated the coop with chicken wire and put the babies plus heat lamp and box with bedding on one side at about 1 week. at a week and half i let them outside for an hour a day, supervised, to play in the (25x15) run with the older chicks. Honestly there were some ruffled feathers on the part of the olders for a couple days, but no pecking. Now at three weeks, i let the babies out in the run with the olders for six hours a day. No problems! i do not work outsode of the home, so i just open my windows and i can hear if anything is going on (twice i discovered a baby escaped the run because i heard the chirping from inside).

this set up has been great for me! No problems at all. Our temps are anywhere from 60 to 80 during the day (so i obviously do not follow the guidelines, i just watch their behavior) and 40's at night.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,043
581
Southern Oregon
None of those chicks will be off heat lamps unless you live someplace super warm, even overnight. This is the general temp guidelines for chicks.

90-95F 1 week

85-90F 2 weeks

80-85F 3 weeks

75-80F 4 weeks

70-75F 5,6,7 weeks

65-70F  8 weeks

65F 9 weeks

At 10 weeks they should be off lights. Odd are the hatchery has not hardened them off at all so you will need a warm draft free place to either each age group or a big enough space so the different age groups can choose how close to be to the light. Plymouth Rocks would need 70-75F, DP/Roo would need 85-90F. If you live in a place where it is reliably warmer then those temps during the daytime you can go without daytime lights and put nighttime lights on a timer. If chicks get to cold or to hot they will die.

As far as the whole dividing the coop so that the younger chicks are the primary residents....chickens and chicks dont really think like that. They think in term of their "flock" you can take a flock of 5 birds and put them in a coop with another flock of 5 birds and they will for awhile stay in their own flock groups within the coop. It is less the physical space and more the "this is my flock and i am safe with my flock" thinking.

As far as seperateing them, as long as they have enough room to not be crammed in anyplace, have more then one food and water option and more then one heat option they SHOULD be fine all together. A good trick we use when we want to combine brooders is we take all chicks out of the brooders and put them in seperate boxes then clean the brooder to move them into, and put all the chicks we want together back into the brooder...then it is "new territory." It works with ours and it might work with yours too. You might keep them apart for a week or two until the younger ones get a big larger, chick hit a growth slump 7-12 weeks where they slow way down and the younger ones can catch up a bit.


Heavens, you're making things horribly complicated.

When Momma hen broody chicks, they have two temps available. About 100 degrees under momma, or whatever ambient temp is out from under her. No in between, no weaning. Brooder chicks also need a warm spot, and a large area of ambient temp. You can gradually raise the lamp if you want, but it's not imperative if you're brooding chicks of various ages. Leave the lamp lower for the younger chicks.

I've never had a chick on a lamp past 6 weeks, often mine only get it at night after 3-4 weeks depending on how warm the weather is.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,032
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Heavens, you're making things horribly complicated.

When Momma hen broody chicks, they have two temps available. About 100 degrees under momma, or whatever ambient temp is out from under her. No in between, no weaning. Brooder chicks also need a warm spot, and a large area of ambient temp. You can gradually raise the lamp if you want, but it's not imperative if you're brooding chicks of various ages. Leave the lamp lower for the younger chicks.

I've never had a chick on a lamp past 6 weeks, often mine only get it at night after 3-4 weeks depending on how warm the weather is.

X 2 - Keep it simple - I use the behavior of chicks to dictate whether my brooder is too hot, too cold or just right and I wean them early and move them out between 5-6 weeks.
 

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