Merging 3 groups of chicks together.... need suggestions on how to do it successfully!


May 13, 2015
Hi Everyone! I'm new here. I'm a first-time chicken mama, and I'm looking for suggestions on how to merge three groups of chicks. Here's my story:

I got 6 day-old chicks on April 22nd. 2 RI Reds, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Silver-tipped Wyandottes. My awesome uncle surprised me by ordering me 6 more chicks that came on May 7th. They are all Ameracaunas. So, these two groups are 2 weeks apart in age and are currently in 2 different brooders in my garage. My plan was to put them both outside in the coop when the older ones are like 6 weeks old (the younger ones will be 4 weeks old) - which is like the first week of June.

Then, my neighbor asked if I wanted 4 of his RI Reds because he has too many to fit in his coop. I said yes! LOL! These chickens are already outside in his coop. They are about 10 weeks old, I think. So, by June they will be 13 weeks old.

So, I'm going to have four 13-week-old, six 6-week old, and six 4-week old chickens that will need to merge together in my coop.

What's the best way of going about this?????

Do you think it would be beneficial to merge all 12 of my little ones together in the big brooder box before bringing them outside to meet the big pullets that are coming over from my neighbor? If so, what ages would be the best time to do this?

I plan to put some pieces of plywood inside the coop and out in the run for hiding spots, and also put some roots outside in the run. Should I section off part of the coop with chicken wire and cut a small hole for the little ones to get in and out of as they please?

My coop isn't finished being built right now, so I can make construction changes if needed to accommodate this big age-range. It's basically a large square, with milk crates on the left side for next boxes (when the time comes), It will have 2 long roosts in the back - at the same level, that run from one side of the coop to the other - so they are nice and long so there's plenty of room for all the chickens, and the right side will be where the food and waterers are, as well as the chicken door to the run. (I will also have food and water outside in the run... and eventually the chickens will free range in my backyard during the day)

Thank in advance for your suggestions and recommendations!
I would let the younger ones catch up size-wise before I put them with the oldest group. The two younger groups can probably be safely merged now though. Just wait until after dark tonight and slip the sleeping chicks from one brooder to the other. So you may need to keep the youngsters in the brooder a little longer than you like depending on how larger the oldest ones are in comparison.
I'd merge the 2 younger groups first....then, YES!, set up your coop to have a wire wall with some escape hatch doors the littles can fit thru and the biggers cannot.
You'll need feed/water stations and roosts on both sides.

I built my coop with 2 people doors and a wire wall easily put up or taken down...... coop design decision I made, have used it for rogue cockerels, new chicks and a broody mama.

Check out 'My Coop' page link under my avatar for some ideas.
Thanks so much for the replies! I don't think I can fit a second "people" door in my coop, but I can definitely section of an area for the littlest chicks, with their own roosts and food and waterers.

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