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Mixing ages of chicks (HELP?)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OHMYCHICKIES, May 28, 2008.



    May 28, 2008
    I have 3 week old Bard Rocks and I just added some Buff Orps only 1 week old. They are significantly smaller than the BR. I don't remember the BR being that small at 1 week, but anyways the BO are scared of the BR and not sure if I should separate them. Of course there is a BR that likes to peck at them. I feel so bad that the BO's are all cuddled up in the corner. Whatcha think I should do?
  2. mamachick

    mamachick In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2007
    I had posted this reply earlier to someone else with similar concerns ... I've only been raising chickens for just over a year and have just started the breeding process myself. But when I asked a chicken store employee how to integrate my younger chicks with the older chicks, she suggested to do it while they are resting at night - they are relaxed and calm. Then watch them over the next day or two, and you will see a pecking order take place. If, however, you find they are being very aggressive and are concerned about the welfare of your chicks, mix some vinegar with water, and go in again while they are all resting at night and spray every last one of them. This apparently is supposed to make them all smell the same, and place them all on equal terms with each other. I don't know how much merit there is in this, but I intend to give it a try.

    The idea of introducing them at night is one I've heard over and over again. Also, if you are able to let them live beside each other for a little while first where they can see each other and smell each other but can't touch each other, this might be helpful.

    I hope this helps! [​IMG]


    May 28, 2008
    Thanks mamachick [​IMG] I did introduce them at night but then the BR were all wired and seemed mad that someone was intruding. I did find something to put the others in because I couldn't stand seeing them in the corner all snuggled together away from the BRs. It's like a crate so they can see each other. These Buff Orps are sooo friendly, it's amazing. I guess I can probably put them all together when they are about the same size right?
  4. dogzrule5

    dogzrule5 Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Sanford, NC
    I'm searching for info on this as well. I've been contacted by a friend whose brother has three hens he can no longer take care of. I'm going to be getting the girls and am concerned about introductions.

    I've already got a semi-complicated set up as I've divided my small barn to keep three roos away from the three hens (the boys are brutal!). Now I'm going to have to figure out how to add three more hens and keep them separate???

    Plus my new goslings, Hansel and Gretel share the open portion of the barn with the roosters. I've got plenty of room but it's a lot of work rotating all these guys every morning b/f I go to work!! [​IMG]
  5. aliciaford

    aliciaford In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2008
    I introduced my 6 week old chicks(58) to my 12 older chicks, 8 weeks a few weeks ago and had sucess with all but my ornamental birds. I waited until they could go outside so that they were pretty distracted during the day with something new. I also made sure that they no longer needed the grow light so they wouldnt be competing for warmth. For the first few nights they stayed huddled in the corner, however, after about 4 or 5 nights, they get along fine. The older birds however almost killed my Polish and Frizzle chicks, I wouldnt recommend mixing ornamental birds, YIKES! Good Luck!
  6. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    What worked for me is, I would let them all out together to play with me. They had seperate brooders, but when I would go in to spend time with them, I would let hem all out together. At that time they were 2 weeks and 4 weeks. The older ones were way bigger. now I can't keep them in seperate brooders...they fly up and out just to be with eachother...now I have 11 in one brooder!!! I have a flight cage out in the yard layed down in the grass, so they go out in there all day and I bring them in during the evening when it starts getting chilly again. But here it has been near 80. While they are out there, they get to pick grass and are fully closed in for protection. My flock of 7 Buff Orps get to come up and see them and peck in the grass with them. So they already all know eachother for when they are old enough to go outside.

    I would just supervise them together until they get used to it and then i think they will be just fine.

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