Introducing younger chicks to older chicks

BuckeyeFoodie

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 29, 2013
360
1,130
256
Columbus, OH
OK, so as a fault in planning on my part, a small number of my flock will be four weeks older than the bulk of my flock. I'll have no problem brooding the two groups separately, but I'm worried about when and how I should introduce the younger chicks to the older? I've heard a lot about older chickens beating up on younger newcomers, but will mine be close enough in age that I can pretty much avoid any problems, or should I start planning for WWIII?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
674
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
The earlier you integrate them, the better. However, day olds are not really going to do well at all with 4 week olds - so have them separate until, oh say, maybe three to four weeks of age (the older ones 7 weeks). Make sure they spend some time together looking at each other through some fencing, if possible. This is just what I have done, and you would always need to supervise for quite some time (I usually spend TWO HOURS watching!). If you see anyone being attacked viciously, separate them again.

You might try again in one week and see how it goes, if the first attempt at integration fails.

At three weeks of age, the youngsters really start chest bumping and becoming more trustworthy (although I do check on them frequently) about going in and out of the pop door to their light bulb (this is the age at which I let them venture out of the coop to a small fenced area with total access to the pop door/light bulb inside the coop) and they are able to interact with other chicks who are a bit older from my experience. But chickens are individuals and you must see how yours do/see how you feel about it at the time.

The earlier the better, since if you want them to love each other in the short term, they need to grow up together. Otherwise they will be two groups that don't really like each other until a long time passes from my experience.
 

BuckeyeFoodie

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 29, 2013
360
1,130
256
Columbus, OH
Thanks for the advice! I actually changed my order so that my order that was going to be older will now actually be a few days younger, that way I can brood them all together with no problems!

Thank you again!
 

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