Is it possible to add more chicks to a group of 3 week old chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BTinks, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. BTinks

    BTinks Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I'm very new to chickens so I apologize if this is a dumb question. [​IMG]

    I have 25 2.5 week old pullets that I got from our local hatchery... I love them and am really happy with the assortment we got. We're still trying to figure out the breeds but it seems like we have a mix of Amber Sex Links, Wyandottes, Jersey Giants, and Australorps. I had been hoping for a few Easter Eggers to add some colorful eggs to my lot, but it doesn't look like any of my girls are turning out to be EEs. So I am wondering if it is possible to get some EEs from the hatchery that I got my pullets from and add them to the flock now. I've read that it's tricky to add to a flock when they are all adults, so I wondered if it would be better to do it now while they're still young? Has anyone done this? Is it stupid to attempt? I wouldn't get more than 5 new ones if I did it.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good question and it's not a dumb idea. The younger the better. They haven't started to establish a pecking order yet.
    I do it all the time. I usually wait till the youngest are 3 or 4 days old so they can run for cover if they get picked on. If you give them plenty of space you can spread the age range even more.
    I had single chicks hatch 4 weeks apart and a batch of meaties 4 weeks older than the oldest of those 2. I took the smallest meatie, added the first hatched chick, then 4 weeks later added the third and they became fast friends.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    IMO, you're right on the cusp now so if it took even a week to get your small order, you'd need to put them in their own brooder until they are catching up in size to the chicks you have now. Maybe do the merge when the youngsters are ready to go off heat. Have you looked locally? Shipping small orders is also expensive and risky in the chill of late winter.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you don't use a small brooder you don't need to worry about the temperature requirements.
    Give a heat lamp or 2 in a larger space and they can find their comfort zone.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BTinks

    BTinks Out Of The Brooder

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    ChickenCanoe - Awesome! I'm glad that it's not a bad plan. Thanks for the brooder tip too!

    Debid - yeah thankfully I'm about ten minutes away from the hatchery we're using so I can easily go pick up a couple more if they have stock available. [​IMG]
     
  6. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm placing a chix order which includesm2 EEs... Should I order 3 in case something happens to one of them, or will just the one EE do fine on its own?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had a single EE with a flock for years and no worries. That said, it's always nice to have as many chickens as you can reasonably house without crowding.
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Breeds are a human invention; chickens see other chickens. Mix to your heart's desire.

    And BTinks,did you call the hatchery? I can't imagine living so close to one; the temptation...
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  9. Nigellas

    Nigellas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've added at about that age difference. Sometimes the bigger ones accidentally step on the small ones, but it's never done any damage.
     
  10. BTinks

    BTinks Out Of The Brooder

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    Right?! Thankfully they don't have a huge selection so I can't go too crazy. I did call them and they said that they will have some day old "araucanas" (I don't think they have true bred ones though) on March 5th that I can pick up. At that point my chicks that I have currently will be 4 weeks old. I think I'm going to go for it, unless some of my current ones magically show me that they are EEs before then. :)
     

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