Mixing chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ameador1, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    Hello everyone out there - this is my first post to this site! I have been reading quite a bit and have been impressed by the amount of activity and good natured assistance at this site. Hopefully this will continue for a long time to come. Well, on to my situation...
    I just got (this past Tuesday morning) a batch of 26 chicks. I wanted mild mannered chickens for egg laying and meat chickens. I got 13 Jumbo Cornish-Rocks, 4 Black Australorps, 4 Buff Orpingtons, and 4 Barred Rocks. We got one additional thrown in as a see-what-you-get chick. I don't know what this chick is. Anyway, I have been told that the Jumbo Cornish-Rocks will be ready to slaughter at around 8 weeks. My understanding is that they grow very fast - even got special food for them to help their legs keep up with their body grown. I am concerned about how to mix these babies. I am scared that the Jumbo's will get bigger much faster than the others and will beat up on them. I have also read that the chickens will get upset when they have members of their flock "disappear" on them. So I'm concerned for these two reasons (as well as the food supplement the Jumbo's are getting) about having them mix. But, they will end up in the same chicken coop in a month or so when they are ready and they will have to mix there. But I'm also concerned about mixing the two groups like that at a month or so old. The Jumbo's will probably be bigger then as well, and I could see that turning ugly too.
    What should I do with these guys? Mix'em now or later? If now, what do I do about the food supplement to keep the other chicks from getting this supplement (that they don't need and maybe shouldn't have)? The supplement is added to the water - it is from McMurray Hatchery and is called Broiler Booster. They other chicks are getting a supplement called Quik Chik (also from McMurray Hatchery) added to their water.
    I currently have them separated mostly to keep them out of each other water/supplement mixes. They are all only 6 days old (as of today). The Jumbo's are already a bit bigger that the others and feel more substantial when held.
    Well, please give me your opinions, experience, suggestions, etc... [​IMG] Thanks!

  2. chickenboy

    chickenboy In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2007
    I think that you should keep the meat birds seperate from the other ones.
  3. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    I will have to put them together at some point. I will be free ranging them all once they are able to go outside and into a coop (and there will only be one coop), so they will meet at some point, just trying to figure out they best way to deal with it - now or later.
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    From everything I've heard and read, the meat birds are greedy pigs. Not to disparage that kind animal, but the meat birds will not only eat their food and drink their water & supplements, they will also eat the other food and drink the other water as well. Which means your layer birds will suffer nutritionally.

    I understand you have one brooder and one coop. Can you set up 2 brooder areas or one large one and separate it? It really isn't that difficult - you could use large cardboard boxes. Is there any way you could put a divider down the middle of the coop to keep your meat birds away from your layers?

    You actually have 2 flocks, as they have different purposes in life. Personally, I think if you mix them now or mix them later, it makes no difference. The layer birds will suffer.

    Birds maintain a pecking order in a flock. If you are intending on sending your meat birds to freezer camp in 8 weeks, I believe you might have less problems down the road if they are not part of the layer flock pecking order. Every time you change the dynamics of a flock, they redetermine their pecking order. Keeping the 2 flocks separate will prevent infighting down the road.

    As a side note, our avian vet raises layers and meat birds. She keeps the meat birds in a separate brooder for 8 weeks and then sends them to freezer camp. In her layer brooder, the birds leave the brooder at about 6 or 7 weeks of age and go to the coop.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007

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