integrating different aged chicks and roo questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by juliachick, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. juliachick

    juliachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    (Northeastern PA)
    Hi gang, I posted this in managing flocks but didn't get any answers and thought you might be able to help me...Thanks!

    Ok so we are really chicken obsessed like many of you. Here's what we have and where so far. I have 5-8wk barred rocks,1- 8wk silver spangled hamburg and 4-7 wk barnvelders in one make shift coop in my detached garage. 1-australorp, 1-black sex link, and 3 barred rock/americauna mixes that are all about 4 wks in a big guinea pig cage now turned brooder also in the garage. I bought today a day old buff cochin. I also have 7 black jersey giant eggs in the incubator. We are for sure that we have 4 roos and possibly 2 more (they were bought barred pullets but seem to have a bit more of a waddle and comb than the other 3???). We have two pekins day olds coming this week that I am hoping to put in with our little singe cochin (who currently only has a chicky stuffed animal friend) and is living in an aquarium brooder w/hood in our house. She was a total impulse buy from the feed store...I warned DH that he should go but NOOOO...have to work on my self control Anyway, we've been taking our 8 wk olds olds outside to "play" in the grass for a few wks for bits of time and they love it. Today we let out the 4 wks olds for a tiny bit and kept them apart. Well, my 2 yr old decided to introduce one of the 4 wk roos to the 7 wk barnvelder roo and it was crazy...the poor little guy got pecked like 10 times in a few secs before I could grab it. My permanent coop should be done in about a week. It will be able to be divided w/chicken wire in two sections. I plan to let the little ones go in one area until they can be combined. Then the cochin will move out to the garage to the guinea pig cage and eventually when our j.giants hatch she will then go to the make shift coop so the j.giants can move in to the the guinea pig cage. So if you 've followed me this far ( I appreciate your patience:)) I have a few questions.

    1)When can the 4 wks old move in w/the 8 wk olds? I know they need time to adjust to seeing each other but at what size will they be ready (till they are equal size?) I am questioning if I planned this right now because if I have to wait till they are adults I will have to build another temp coop for the next age group to go into since they won't move through the ranks quick enough.

    2)Is my plan on keeping my ducks and cochin together doable (I know not to give medicated feed)? Has anyone done this?

    3)I know we will not keep as many roos as we will end up with and plan to separate the ones we will be eating at some point. At what age do you think I should plan on them not tolerating each other any more? Right now we have a few in the 7-8 wk group that seem to get along for now.

    4)How many roos have some of you had success w/together w/the flock?

    5)The barnvelder roo seems to be the most aggressive and non-friendly with us. We want him to have a mating trio for next year so should I plan to give him a bachelor pad of his own and if so how big should one be for one roo?

    I know I had another question and now it's gone...I'll post back if I think of it....thanks for any advice/experience you can share!!!
  2. melody123

    melody123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    I find that as long as I move birds together in bunches, then they are okay. A single bird put in with others will be singeld out and abused. But 1 of 12 just blends in. Especially if the birds are used to hanging out with multiple age levels.

    I have 6 week old chickens in with 2 month olds chickens, and 12 week olds chickens, and 16 week old turkeys. - All in the same pen and they all get along fine. But they have LOTS of room to run and play. (literally acres if they wanted it.) In tight areas, birds are more likely to abuse each other out of boredom.

    It also may depend if your adding the same type birds to the pen. Animals know what they look like. If you a bunch chickens in a field that have never seen each other, they will automatically find the chicken that looks the closest to themselves. Even if they were raised with another breed. (I've seen this with different types of livestock. It's not just people that group based on looks. - No prejudic intended. ) If your new chickens look like your older chickens, then they are more likely to fit in. If they are dramatically different, like adding a single leghorn to a dozen red hens, then you might have problems.

    As far as roosters go, it all depends if there are any hens around. A large group of roosters will get along just fine, as long as they all remain bachelors. The moment a single hen becomes available, then they will go for each others throats.

    If there is one mature rooster who is the boss, then the other roosters will behave. [​IMG] Or they will learn to hang out far away from the hens.

    Ducks are fun, but they are very messy. They are definate water wasters and will probably get your other birds soaked. It's okay if you want to mix older birds, but be careful if your mixing ducklings with baby chicks. The ducklings will play with their water until everything and everyone is soaked. Then there is no water in the waterer for anyone to drink and the poor chicks are chilled.[​IMG]

    good luck

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