Merging Chicks (Of similar ages)

ShawnaScott

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
182
8
83
Frankfort, IN
So I have an existing flock of about 12 chicks (4 to 5 weeks old) and I added 2 Araucanas (about 2 or 3 weeks old) and 3 chicks (2 Wyandottes and something else) I don't know (about 4 weeks old). The Araucanas are doing great, they are younger but about the same size as the banties. They also resemble my Brown Leghorns, so I think that helps. But my 3 older chicks are not doing well. I bought them because they were getting picked on in the feed store, and lost a lot of feathers. They also sustained a lot of wounds. The wounds have since healed up, and I thought they would enjoy more space outside of the "baby" brooder. I keep hearing cheeps and squacks, but when I go down, they all are quiet. The three weren't sleeping near the heating lamp when I went down to check (at about 9), and since it's a 4' by 4' brooder, the outside edges can get down to 60 at night. I didn't know if it was by choice (not liking large groups after being pecked) or if they weren't "allowed" to sleep near the lamp. I put them back with the week old chicks, and they seem fine. Oddly enough, they never try to trample the little chicks when they are in the small brooder. How should I reintroduce these chicks? Was I being silly by putting them back in another brooder?
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,043
581
Southern Oregon
There may have been a reason they were getting picked on at the feed store. When you buy a weak/sick animal you have the chance it's always going to be weak or sick. Those chicks just may never be able to hold their own. Chickens sense weakness and are wired to cull out weaker members of society.

That said, you can try just keeping them with younger birds and see how things go. They may get strong enough to be flock members, but you'll just have to wait and see.
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
135
173
Middle Tennessee
When I put groups of chicks together, I hang around for awhile to make sure that no one is being hurt - but unless something extreme is going on, I let them work it out with interfering. I've had chicks from 1 to 4 weeks old together, and it has worked out just fine. They seem to integrate better at that age than when they get older. Good luck!
 

ShawnaScott

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
182
8
83
Frankfort, IN
There may have been a reason they were getting picked on at the feed store. When you buy a weak/sick animal you have the chance it's always going to be weak or sick. Those chicks just may never be able to hold their own. Chickens sense weakness and are wired to cull out weaker members of society.

That said, you can try just keeping them with younger birds and see how things go. They may get strong enough to be flock members, but you'll just have to wait and see.
I'm not sure that it was about them being weak, and I haven't seen any sign of illness. The tub that they had them in was 2 foot wide by 4 four long, and it was completely covered in chicks about 4 or 5 weeks old. They had all of their "grown up" feathers. When I'm down with them, the 3 will stand up for themselves if one of my old chickies decides to "chest bump" them, but when I went down they weren't near the lamp.
 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
216
216
SE Pa.
As far as sleeping away from the heater goes. Since they are nearly completely feathered they really don't need the heat as much as they did when they were a week old. I know mine at four weeks don't spend much time under the heat, especially when the rest of the pen is in the 60s.
 

BScott03

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
300
9
88
Reading this made me feel a lot better! I just received 7 silkies today, 8 Cochins Wednesday and 15 barred Rocks the 22nd and I'm hoping it all works out good!
 

ShawnaScott

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
182
8
83
Frankfort, IN
Yesterday I put the three "injured" chicks back in with the regular flock. They are doing well. Unfortunately, I don't think those chicks will ever be as tame as the rest of the flock! But they are doing good, eating food, and drinking.
 

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