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Merging Chicks of Different Ages

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hgood, May 15, 2016.

  1. hgood

    hgood Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    I have 10 5.5 Week old chicks in the coop, and 2 0.5 Week Old Chicks in the house. Any advice on how/when to merge them? I know there's special instructions for merging chicks with adults, but what about merging chicks that are 5 weeks apart???
    Thanks!
     
  2. lynnbranch

    lynnbranch Just Hatched

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    I have a similar question. My older chicks are outside in their coop (6 weeks old) and I just got 2 week old chicks. I was planning on bringing the little ones to the coop in 2-3 weeks but I'm worried the older ones will pick on them.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    When there is that big of an age difference, integration should be done in a similar manner as introducing chicks to adults. If you can, when the younger ones are about 4 weeks old and no longer need heat, start by keeping them in a separate setup near the older chicks. This way, they get a chance to safely interact and get used to one another. After a couple weeks, you can let the younger ones start to mingle with the older ones, but be sure that there is plenty of room, multiple food and water stations, and things in the run to break up sight lines and provide escape routes for the littles.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. hgood

    hgood Just Hatched

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    Since they are closer in age, can I add my two newbies at 4 weeks of age? I figured I'd put them out next to the run from 2 weeks until 4-6 weeks and then put them in the coop at night at that time. The bigger chicks will be 9-11 weeks old when the newbies are added. Does that sound good, ok, or awful???
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    The older chicks are still going to be almost twice the size of the younger ones. I strongly recommend against just throwing them all together. Grow-out pens make integration so much less stressful for the birds.
     
  6. hgood

    hgood Just Hatched

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    So what is a good age to combine them? The 5 week olds are Production Red/RIR and Barred Rock. The newbies are Speckled Sussex. I have access to a grow out pen as I have a broiler coop that will be empty at the end of the month. That was the plan anyway to use it as a meat bird/grow out coop. I just fell in love with the Sussex and decided to complete my flock this year instead of next spring. I read it was okay to combine chicks within 4 weeks of each other, so I wasn't sure if that extra week made a big difference.
     
  7. hgood

    hgood Just Hatched

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    If I use the extra coop for my newbies, and my older chicks are 5 weeks ahead in development, what is a good age at looking to combine them? Or when will they be close to the same size?
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Give them a few weeks to get used to one another, and then let them mingle.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Ditt Dat^^^

    Splitting the coop with wire wall with small doors in it can help ease the mingling, giving the littlers a place of refuge that the biggers can't get into.
     

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